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Does NBA request to Sacramento group violate anti-trust?

Credit for the article from the Sac Bee and Tony Bizjak and company.

Fox Entertainment Corp.

NBA encouraging Sacramento suitors for the Kings to put entire purchase price in escrow, source says - Kings/NBA - The Sacramento Bee

With an NBA vote on the future of the Sacramento Kings just a week away, a source says the league is encouraging a Sacramento business group to put 100 percent of its $341 million team purchase offer into an escrow account in hopes of persuading the Maloof family, team owners, to sign a deal with the local group.

Isn't that the true meaning of antitrust? There is a signed agreement with Hansen and company.

A league source familiar with the situation said NBA officials are suggesting the private investment group led by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Vivek Ranadive make the move to prove it has the wherewithal to sign what has been described as a back-up offer to purchase the team.

The Maloof family has expressed concerns privately about the financing of the Ranadive group, which includes the Jacobs family of San Diego, owners of Qualcomm Co.

If they can put in the full amount, it'd prove that they do have the money and we can finally put that rumor to rest. We've all had questions about exactly how much money the Sacramento group had and this would go a long way to showing that they do actually have the financial capital to back up their claims that they are multibillionaires.

Vivek and company have already put in 50% into escrow.

What we have to know in the end is if this is actually antitrust with the league helping out Sacramento so much. They've never gone to such lengths before to keep a team in a certain market.

In the last decade teams from Seattle, Vancouver and Charlotte all were moved with out much of a care from the league.

Why start caring now and go through such lengths?

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