The city of San Jose has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against Major League Baseball, arguing that the League's decree that the San Francisco Giants have exclusive territorial rights to the city constitutes unlawful restraint of trade.

The lawsuit directly challenges MLB's unique 91-year-old exemption to federal antitrust laws as stated in a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court decision, which said that baseball is not interstate commerce subject to federal antitrust regulation.

"For years, MLB has unlawfully conspired to control the location and relocation of major league men's professional baseball clubs under the guise of an 'antitrust exemption' applied to the business of baseball," said the 44-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose.

"Whereas baseball may have started as a local affair, modern baseball is squarely within the realm of interstate commerce," added the lawsuit, the filing of which was unanimously approved by the San Jose City council.

"MLB Clubs ply their wares nationwide, games are broadcast throughout the country on satellite TV and radio, as well as cable channels, and MLB Clubs have fan bases that span from coast to coast," the suit added.

The lawsuit is being handled at no cost by the Burlingame law firm of Joseph W. Cotchett, which has filed some of the largest antitrust cases in the nation and represented the NFL in similar litigation.

The MLB had no comment on the lawsuit while A's owner Lew Wolff said he had "no details" about the move.

Wolff added that nothing has changed about his team's quest for a San Jose ballpark but added that he's not in favor of solving business issues through legal action or legal threats.

For more than four years, the A's have been planning a move to San Jose but the Giants argued that their have territorial rights to the area originated in the early 1990s.

To settle the issue, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig appointed a committee to study the plan but no recommendation has been made. With the delay, the San Jose City council has voted unanimously to sue the League.

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San Jose Files Antitrust Lawsuit Against MLB; Seeks A's Move