Antitrust Counseling & Litigation

Overview

With continued aggressive antitrust enforcement and an increasingly litigious commercial culture, businesses face a growing challenge in navigating federal, state, and international antitrust and competition laws. These laws can hinder commercial transactions, impose significant damages, and potentially lead to criminal liability. Companies facing antitrust issues need counsel who can help them navigate the requirements, communicate effectively with regulators, and, if necessary, litigate on their behalf.

From compliance counseling to planning an acquisition to responding to government investigations, Blank Rome’s antitrust attorneys have the breadth of experience  and knowledge to help you address private, criminal, or corporate antitrust issues. And with more than 300 litigators across 13 offices, we can help you plan an effective antitrust litigation strategy and take your case to trial if needed.

We frequently represent clients before the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in investigations and inquiries concerning alleged violations of the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts and Section 5 of the FTC Act.

How We Can Help

  • domestic and international mergers and acquisitions
  • joint venture formation and operation
  • agreements among competitors (for example, joint purchasing, marketing, and development agreements)
  • pricing and distribution issues
  • intellectual property licensing issues
  • exclusive dealing arrangements
  • bundling arrangements
  • membership in, and activities of, trade associations
  • information exchanges
  • federal and state unfair competition and trade practices

Antitrust Counseling

The best defense against antitrust investigations and litigation is ensuring that antitrust laws aren’t violated in the first place. We counsel clients through the complexities of antitrust compliance, risk minimization, and transaction structuring. Our strength lies in the development of strategies related to mergers and acquisitions and obtaining pre-merger clearance from government authorities. We’ve sought Business Review Letters from the Department of Justice (“DOJ”), appeared before the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), and responded to second requests following pre-merger filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act (“HSR”).

Antitrust Litigation and Investigations

We advise clients responding to private antitrust claims (both individual and class claims), including alleged price fixing, customer or territorial allocation, monopolization, tying, and predatory pricing claims, as well as defending against IP antitrust-related counterclaims. These cases can range from the relatively simple (asserting per se liability, for example) to those requiring sophisticated economic analysis to establish or defeat liability.

In criminal matters, we assemble a team using attorneys across the firm to provide comprehensive litigation advice during all phases of criminal investigations, grand jury matters, trials, sentencing, and appeals.

We frequently represent clients before the Antitrust Division of the DOJ and the Federal Trade Commission in investigations and inquiries concerning alleged violations of the Sherman and Clayton antitrust acts and Section 5 of the FTC Act.

What Sets Us Apart

  • Our litigation team is comprised of nearly 30 former Department of Justice attorneys and five former judges and many of the team members are members of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers.
  • Law360 named Blank Rome a 2017 “Pennsylvania Powerhouse” and recognized “its prolific national litigation practice and deep bench strength.”
  • 2019 U.S. News & World Report-Best Lawyers (Woodward/White Inc.) national ranks:
    • Tier 1: Commercial Litigation, Banking and Finance, Bankruptcy, Tax Law, and White Collar Litigation
    • Tier 2: Intellectual Property, Patent, Securities, Environmental, and Labor & Employment
  • Chambers USA editors state Blank Rome has a:
    • “Significant commercial litigation practice, offering sought-after representation across a range of cases including securities, antitrust, environmental, construction and cybersecurity disputes. Further highlighted for its federal appellate work and for its experience in class action defense.”
  • Chambers USA editors further remark:
    • “The litigation team was excellent. Each of the lawyers brought a very interesting element to the team and they blended together well. They were great and I would highly recommend them!"

Experience

  • Defended a national sports league and member clubs in an action challenging the league’s sale of satellite television broadcasts of some of its member clubs’ games.
  • Represented a United States consumer electronics manufacturer in antitrust and anti-dumping claims brought against foreign consumer electronics cartel.
  • Defended a computer disaster-recovery provider in a litigated merger case involving an acquisition of a competitor in simultaneous, parallel bankruptcy proceedings.
  • Represented national alcoholic beverage distribution company in significant domestic merger transactions.
  • Defended sensor manufacturer in post-closing merger investigation and resolution of competition issues.
  • Defended a major aluminum producer against antitrust claims, including proceedings in the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Defended a major concert promoter in a multidistrict, multiparty antitrust litigation charging the company with monopolization and exclusionary conduct.
  • Represented defendants in private class actions alleging price-fixing in residential doors, plastic tableware, graphite electrodes, plastic additives, refrigerant compressors, and other products.
  • Defended French company executive in international criminal cartel investigation and proceedings in the United States, with parallel proceedings in Brazil, South Korea, Australia, and the European Union.
  • Represented plaintiffs in a groundbreaking labor/antitrust/RICO treble-damage action against local unions involving antitrust, RICO, labor/secondary boycott claims, and involving the scope of First Amendment protection counteractions relating to union officials’ harassment of a residential developer by environmental-hazard leafleting at the residential development site.
  • Secured the acquittal of a former high-ranking insurance executive against criminal price-fixing and bid-rigging charges.
  • Secured the dismissal of a class action against major international airlines for alleged price-fixing in a market for airline tickets between Europe and Japan.
  • Obtained a “walk-away” settlement of patent infringement claims against a generic pharmaceutical manufacturer by raising monopolization allegations in counterclaims.
  • Worked with clients in the claims process to maximize benefits as class members in a class action litigation, including working with the plaintiffs’ counsel to enlist Firm clients as representative plaintiffs.
  • Defended, among others, a producer of video games and a manufacturer of pet care products in Federal Trade Commission investigations.

Team