From the LA Times:
Former Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer won a frenetic bidding war for ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers, with his $2-billion offer setting a record price for an NBA team, The Times has learned.
Ballmer, who was chief executive of Microsoft for 14 years, was chosen over competitors that included Los Angeles-based investors Tony Ressler and Bruce Karsh and a group that included David Geffen and executives from the Guggenheim Group, the Chicago-based owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to three individuals familiar with the negotiations.
One of the individuals with knowledge of the negotiations said the Geffen group bid $1.6 billion and Ressler at $1.2 billion.
The sale price is almost four times the highest previous NBA franchise sale price -- the $550 million paid earlier this month for the Milwaukee Bucks. It is second only to the Dodgers' 2012 sale for $2.1 billion as the highest price for any sports team in North America.
The tentative deal still must receive the blessing of her husband, Donald Sterling, who has waxed and waned on the question of whether he would allow his wife to sell the team he has controlled for more than three decades.
That's basically the same price as Guggenheim (with Magic Johnson as the frontman and Mike Milken on the phone) paid for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012, which has prevented 70% of Dodger fans from watching their team on cable TV this year due to demands for much higher fees from cable companies.
So, expect a similar Greed Squeeze on Clippers fans now that the Evilest Man in the World no longer owns the team. I mean, it's not like the former CEO of Microsoft understands anything about exploiting market power to earn quasi-monopolistic profits.