Lathrop Gage attorneys have a broad understanding of the complex web of interconnected federal and state antitrust laws and how these laws apply to the business conduct of companies currently doing business, or intending to do business, in the United States.  We have extensive experience in matters involving: price-fixing, bid-rigging, supply restrictions, market divisions (product, customer and geographic), price discrimination, monopolization, exclusionary practices, resale price maintenance programs, minimum advertised pricing policies, tying, market foreclosures, interlocking directorates and officers, exclusivity, buying cooperatives, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property.

Antitrust Litigation
We represent clients in private single party, multi-party, and class action treble-damage lawsuits brought under the federal and state antitrust laws.  We have extensive experience with antitrust class certification issues, consolidation of multi-district cases, and other procedures governing complex litigation in the United States. Although we seek to resolve matters favorably for our clients at the earliest possible stage of litigation, we have extensive experience trying cases before federal and state judges and juries.

Intellectual Property
We advise and represent clients on antitrust issues that arise from the acquisition, licensing, and enforcement of patents, and to a lesser extent, trademarks.  Antitrust issues often arise in the context of patent infringement lawsuits.  Patent owners are frequently accused of unlawfully extending the term and economic value of the rights granted to them under the patent laws.  Our lawyers have extensive experience with these issues from the perspective of both the patent holder and the alleged infringer.  

Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions
We identify potential problems early in the sale or transaction-negotiation process and assist clients to structure transactions to avoid or minimize potential antitrust risk.  If a transaction is reportable under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“HSR”) we navigate the merger review process on behalf of our clients as cost-effectively and expeditiously as possible.  We appear before the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) and the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) in the United States and are familiar with the analytical approach and information gathering techniques employed by the federal antitrust enforcers.  Many complex transactions are also reviewed by state attorneys general and/or international competition authorities.

In addition, we regularly assist clients seeking to raise concerns regarding the anticompetitive actions of suppliers or competitors with the FTC, DOJ, or relevant state attorney general(s).

Antitrust Compliance Counseling

  • We counsel clients on the differences between federal and state antitrust/consumer protection laws.
  • We advise clients on the laws governing vertical distribution programs, both price and non-price related issues, including resale price maintenance (RPM) agreements and minimum advertising price (MAP) programs.
  • We counsel clients on industry standards-setting policies, including those developing standards governing electronic data exchange.
  • We advise clients in structuring their complex domestic and international sales transactions to ensure antitrust compliance.
  • We counsel industry and trade associations on antitrust compliance issues including competitor information-gathering programs, joint purchasing, statistical reporting ethical codes, participation in litigation and regulatory proceedings, and antitrust policy and competition law issues. 
  • We advise clients on structuring and operating joint ventures, including R&D, marketing, and production arrangements.  We also advise on applying premerger reporting requirements to joint ventures.
  • We counsel clients on the premerger rules and procedures under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“HSR”).
  • We design and conduct antitrust compliance programs for clients, including preparing antitrust guidelines, conducting antitrust audits and special investigations, and creating educational programs for corporate employees.
  • We counsel clients on the applicable antitrust exemptions and “safety zones” applicable to labor, employment, insurance, agriculture, and other areas.
  • We advise clients on the contours of the labor antitrust exemption applicable to the collective bargaining process. 
  • We also advise our foreign clients on applying U.S. antitrust laws to their activities, including the reach of U.S. jurisdiction under the Federal Trade Antitrust Improvements Act as well as our domestic clients to comply with foreign antitrust/competition laws.