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Justice Department to investigate proposed PGA Tour-LIV Golf deal, per WSJ

<i>Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports/Reuters</i><br/>The LIV logo on display at the entrance of a LIV Golf event at Orange County National.
Reinhold Matay/USA Today Sports/Reuters
The LIV logo on display at the entrance of a LIV Golf event at Orange County National.

By David Close and Jacob Lev, CNN

(CNN) — The US Department of Justice is to investigate the planned partnership between the PGA Tour and the Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF), which owns LIV Golf, over antitrust concerns, according to the Wall Street Journal citing people familiar with the matter.

The reported DOJ probe into the surprise partnership casts doubt over the new, as yet unnamed commercial enterprise between the organizations and the Europe-based DP World Tour.

“We are confident that once all stakeholders learn more about how the PGA TOUR will lead this new venture, they will understand how it benefits our players, fans, and sport while protecting the American institution of golf,” the Tour said in a statement to CNN on Thursday.

The Justice Department had previously opened an investigation into the PGA Tour due to its battle with LIV Golf.

CNN has reached out to the DOJ and LIV Golf for comment.

On Thursday, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) sent a letter to PGA Tour leadership asking a variety of questions to seek clarification and evidence associated with the deal.

Earlier this week, Wyden and fellow Democratic senator Elizabeth Warren called on the Justice Department’s antitrust division to inspect the controversial partnership, saying it would allow Saudi Arabia to “sportswash” its “egregious human rights record” and would violate multiple provisions of antitrust law.

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CNN’s Matt Foster and Samantha Delouya contributed to reporting.

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