When faced with must-win antitrust litigation or in need of guidance on critical acquisition, sales, distribution and competition-related issues, businesses turn to us for purposeful, highly engaged representation. Our veteran antitrust counselors and litigators understand, in a comprehensive way, the finer points of competition and antitrust laws and the practical consequences of alternative business options. We focus, first and last, on helping clients achieve their business objectives within the bounds of antitrust and competition laws.
Our experience runs the gamut of competition laws, including price-fixing, market allocation, monopolization, exclusive dealing and price discrimination matters. And our sector-specific expertise covers multiple industries, including healthcare, food service supply chains, manufacturing, sports, and energy. Employing both trial-tested and innovative tactics, we go the extra mile to protect and advance our clients’ best interests and strategic objectives, while minimizing antitrust and competition law risk.
Matthew C. Blickensderfer
Practice Group Leader
Capabilities & Select Experience
Our broad knowledge and experience with the entire range of antitrust and competition law issues allow us to counsel our clients on a wide variety of business matters with efficiency and sophistication. Our counseling includes such critical matters as price-fixing and Robinson-Patman/price discrimination issues, market and territorial restrictions, supply and distribution agreements, group purchasing arrangements, trade association activities, dealer and franchise arrangements, and exclusive dealerships. We also advise on joint marketing, information exchanges among competitors, intellectual property antitrust issues, healthcare antitrust matters and the whole spectrum of business activities that have the potential to raise issues under the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and other state and federal competition laws.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in both civil antitrust litigation and antitrust criminal defense. This experience extends to enforcement actions and proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and other state and federal administrative agencies. Our litigation and criminal defense representation captures the entire spectrum of antitrust and competition law claims including those involving price discrimination (and Robinson-Patman Act issues), price-fixing, territorial and market allocation, boycotts and refusals-to-deal, exclusive dealing, tying arrangements, resale price maintenance (and other vertical restraints), attempted and actual monopolization, dealer and franchise terminations, intellectual property antitrust claims, antitrust class actions and unfair competition (including FTC Act claims).
Our antitrust counseling in the area of business combinations alerts our clients to possible antitrust challenges to proposed transactions and assists them in structuring transactions so as to minimize antitrust and competition law risk. We also assist our clients with all facets of the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger review process, from the requisite filings to persuading the agencies to litigate any challenges, if necessary.
We have the necessary experience and expertise to develop and implement preventive law programs to help our clients in minimizing risk and obtaining compliance with antitrust and competition laws while still achieving their goals. Our attorneys can provide training sessions that are adapted to our clients’ particular business needs and the needs of different levels of personnel. We can also perform audits of our clients’ businesses to determine whether their existing practices and arrangements are in compliance with applicable antitrust and competition laws.
Our antitrust litigators have handled high-profile and high-dollar matters for scores of companies. The following cases are representative:
- Defense of a national oil company on price discrimination allegations
- Defense of HMO in price-fixing litigation under Ohio’s Valentine Act
- Defense of §2 Sherman Act monopolization claim in the pharmaceuticals industry
- Defense of an auto industry manufacturer against attempted monopolization and tying claims based on enforcement of allegedly invalid intellectual property rights
- Defense of hospital and its former executive against exclusive dealing and tying claims arising out of exclusive radiology provider contract
- Defense of a stainless steel manufacturer against claims of exclusive dealing and monopolization based on the Walker Process and sham litigation theories
- Defense of group boycott and related allegations against a minority business development council
- Defense of the Sherman Act restraint of trade/monopolization claims concerning placement of minor league baseball franchise
- Defense of §1 Sherman Act group boycott claims involving referral practices in the debt counseling industry
- Local lead trial counsel in Ohio Attorney General tobacco litigation
- Defense of the Sherman Act monopolization case involving on-campus student food service center
- Defense of §§1 and two Sherman Act claims against cleaning service franchisor
- Prosecution of §1 Sherman Act iron ore price-fixing overcharge case
- Defense of a chemical producer against Attorney General’s claims of bid-rigging on sales to public entities
- Defense of Sherman Act and Robinson-Patman Act claims brought by local distributors
- Defense of refusal-to-deal claim
- Obtaining clearance from the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division for numerous mergers and acquisitions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act
- Counsel and guidance for purchasing organizations including the foodservice industry’s largest purchasing cooperative
- Competition analysis for numerous consolidations in the financial institution arena
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