Clients call on us in antitrust matters because of our track record. They know that we are immersed in their businesses and that we have the know-how to deliver practical, real-world solutions to the complex antitrust issues they face.

Venable attorneys are highly experienced in the full range of antitrust matters. Our clients rely on us for our outstanding record in mergers and acquisitions, advocacy before antitrust law enforcers, representation in government investigations, and antitrust litigation. We have deep knowledge of a wide variety of industries, particularly healthcare and pharmaceuticals. Venable brings years of experience with complex antitrust issues and the hard realities of government investigations and litigation.

Clients benefit from the firm’s deep breadth of services across a vast array of disciplines, as well as the fact that a number of Venable attorneys have served as regulators and prosecutors within government agencies.

Civil and Criminal Antitrust Investigations

Clients rely on Venable as a result of our success in defending against civil and criminal investigations brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and state attorneys general concerning alleged anti-competitive conduct. We also represent complaining parties and recipients of third-party subpoenas in connection with government investigations.

Antitrust Litigation

Venable attorneys represent clients in both private and government antitrust litigation, including significant matters before the courts. Our attorneys defended a Fortune 10 consumer products company against multiple claims under the Sherman Act, culminating in a three-month jury trial involving retail marketing, category management, rebates, and exclusive dealing. Our attorneys also defended a Fortune 20 beverage manufacturer against claims under the Sherman Act arising from termination of a dealership, culminating in a five-month jury trial. Venable attorneys represented plaintiffs in litigation against a dominant agricultural cooperative/beverage manufacturer claiming violations of the Sherman Act and the inapplicability of the Capper-Volstead Act antitrust exemption. Our attorneys also have successfully defended several clients against merger challenges brought by the FTC and DOJ.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Joint Ventures

We are well versed at identifying, structuring, and managing the antitrust risks associated with mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. We routinely work with our clients to shepherd their transactions through agency review processes – both domestically and before foreign competition authorities – and to proactively resolve competitive concerns. We have orchestrated asset divestitures, working with court-appointed monitors to ensure compliance with complex consent orders. Venable attorneys also have a solid reputation for opposing mergers pending before antitrust authorities.

Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) and Foreign Competition Filings

Venable attorneys routinely analyze transaction filing obligations all over the world. We use our extensive experience to prepare HSR submissions and secure antitrust approval from the FTC and the DOJ. We also analyze and prepare foreign filing submissions, and consult with local counsel to obtain transaction clearance by foreign competition authorities.

Antitrust Compliance and Audits

Our attorneys have conducted antitrust audits and internal investigations for Fortune 500 companies, as well as small, emerging companies. Working closely with our clients, we design and implement antitrust compliance programs tailored to their needs. We also conduct training seminars for company executives and associations to teach them how to avoid antitrust landmines.

Distribution and Licensing Counseling

Venable attorneys advise clients on the legality and structure of distribution arrangements and licensing agreements. We help design effective marketing programs that ensure compliance with resale price maintenance laws and the Robinson-Patman Act.

Standards Setting, Best Practices, and Certification Programs

Venable attorneys counsel clients on structuring and implementing standards setting, best practices, and certification programs in a variety of industries. In addition, our trade association clients routinely rely on our advice for membership issues.

Practice Focus

  • Antitrust agency advocacy
  • Antitrust audits and compliance programs
  • Antitrust litigation
  • Civil and criminal investigations
  • Distribution counseling
  • Hart-Scott-Rodino and foreign merger filing obligations
  • Internal investigations
  • Joint ventures
  • Licensing agreements
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Standard-setting activities
  • Unfair competition

Representation in Cases of 

  • Dealer terminations
  • Exclusionary conduct
  • Market allocation
  • Monopolization
  • Predatory practices
  • Price fixing

Industry Focus

  • Chemicals
  • Coal
  • Construction
  • Consumer products
  • Defense industry
  • Food and agriculture
  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Industrial products
  • Media and entertainment
  • Metals
  • Oil and gas
  • Oilfield products and services
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Publishing
  • Software
  • Supermarkets
  • Telecommunications
  • Transportation

Experience
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  • Major healthcare enterprise under investigation by the DOJ
    Venable is well versed in the antitrust issues affecting organizations within the healthcare industry, particularly with regard to government investigations. Currently, we are defending a multi-billion-dollar healthcare system and insurance provider in a DOJ antitrust investigation involving alleged violations of the Sherman Act.
  • Major drug manufacturer absolved in FTC investigation
    We have significant experience with the antitrust issues presented by branded/generic patent litigation settlements, including representing pharmaceutical companies before the FTC, defending pharmaceutical companies in private Sherman Act litigation involving such settlements, and providing strategic advice to pharmaceutical clients on these issues. Recently, our antitrust attorneys successfully defended a multinational pharmaceutical company in a complex FTC investigation of alleged antitrust violations involving a patent litigation settlement.
  • Healthcare systems expand their reach while avoiding antitrust problems
    Our attorneys have worked with multiple hospital systems to develop merger strategies and obtain government clearance for proposed transactions, opposed mergers on behalf of our clients, and routinely counsel clients, including physician health organizations and other associations, on a wide variety of healthcare-related antitrust issues.
    As an example, we have advised multi-hospital systems to employ acquisition strategies and competitive tactics that allowed them to achieve dramatic growth.
  • Regional phone network franchise protected
    We successfully defended a communications provider in the Iowa Supreme Court against accusations that regulatory approval for the establishment of its services violated state and federal antitrust laws.
  • Major defense contractor acquisition cleared by the DOJ and DOD
    Venable attorneys successfully represented a defense contractor in a $100 million acquisition; the contractor received inquiries from both the DOJ and DOD regarding the deal’s potential competitive impact.
  • Defended against a price fixing allegation in the LCD industry
    Venable successfully represented a foreign executive in a DOJ investigation of alleged price fixing in the thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display industry.

Government Experience
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Venable attorneys have served at

  • Department of Justice
  • Federal Communications Commission
  • Federal Trade Commission
  • State Attorneys General Offices

Recognition
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  • A 2015 Global Competition Review Top 100 Antitrust Firm Worldwide
  • A 2015 Global Competition Review Top DC Antitrust Practice
  • Ranked in 2011 U.S. News-Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms"
  • An "Outstanding Healthcare Antitrust Lawyer," Nightingale's
  • Two Fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers
  • A Best Lawyer in America
    • Corporate Defense/White Collar