TV writers union says agents are violating antitrust law

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Writers Guild of America has filed claims in federal court alleging the entertainment industry’s biggest talent agencies are violating antitrust and anti-racketeering laws.

The claims filed Monday represent the latest move in a heated battle between the writers of television scripts and the agents who represent them.

The writers say agencies are violating antitrust law with the use of so-called packaging fees, where agents combine elements of a television series — including writers, scripts or actors — and sell them to studios as a unit.

Monday’s filings are a response to agency lawsuits alleging the Writers Guild has itself violated antitrust law with organized actions in the dispute, including the mass firing of agents by thousands of writers.

Emails to attorneys for the agencies were not immediately returned.

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