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Antitrust and competition

Overview

McDonald Hopkins’ team of antitrust attorneys helps clients prevail in high-stakes antitrust litigation and navigate and comply with the complex web of federal and state competition laws. We have effectively defended and obtained dismissals for companies in federal and state antitrust lawsuits throughout the United States, including complicated class action and multi- district litigation cases. We have also successfully represented corporate class action opt-out plaintiffs and other corporate plaintiffs in antitrust litigation.

In addition to our broad litigation experience, we regularly counsel clients regarding compliance with antitrust laws, conduct internal investigations and disclosures, and defend clients in government enforcement actions. Our seasoned antitrust team represents clients in a wide range of industries, including healthcare, technology, telecommunications, energy, chemicals, heavy equipment, automotive parts, and manufacturing and distribution.

Private antitrust litigation

We’ve handled a wide variety of antitrust issues in federal and state courts throughout the country, in single-plaintiff, class action and multi-district litigation. Those cases involve claims for:

  • Price-fixing
  • Bid rigging
  • Group boycott
  • Market allocation
  • Tying and exclusive dealing
  • Monopolization and attempted monopolization
  • Unfair competition
  • Refusal to deal
  • Exclusive dealing
  • Dealer terminations
  • Resale price maintenance

Recent experience includes successfully defeating a 23-count federal class action complaint against two technology companies that alleged violations of the Sherman Act and various consumer protection and tort laws of five different states; representing a major airline in litigation connected to an international air cargo price-fixing conspiracy; successfully defending a construction company against state price fixing, market allocation, attempted monopolization, and conspiracy claims; litigating a Cartwright Act counterclaim against an eyewear manufacturer in a complex federal intellectual property case; and investigating and opining on claims in a lawsuit involving the taxicab industry in a major metropolitan area.

Counseling and due diligence

Our antitrust experience includes more than just litigation. We also regularly counsel clients on a broad array of complex and constantly evolving competition topics, from the development and implementation of antitrust compliance programs, to the evaluation of risk related to corporate transactions, and everything in between. Indeed, our counseling work runs the gamut from traditional matters, such as:

  • Delivering compliance training for corporate boards, executives, and employees.
  • Advising clients on price discrimination matters under the Robinson-Patman Act.
  • Auditing existing policies and procedures for compliance with best practices.
  • Training trade associations and their members on basic antitrust principles.
  • Tailoring exclusive dealing agreements to clients’ needs.
  • Reviewing supplier and distribution agreements.

We’ve also tackle more cutting-edge topics – like drafting resale price maintenance policies for retailers in the online world, and advising on the use of no-poach agreements. This list goes on. No topic is too complicated, and no issue too new; our team has seen it all.

Internal investigations, voluntary disclosures, and enforcement proceedings

Sometimes it’s too late for preemptive training, and more aggressive damage control is necessary. We can – and do – help there too. Among other things, we’ve:

  • Led internal investigations into suspected antitrust violations.
  • Determined if wrongdoing occurred, and recommended remedial steps.
  • Assisted clients in evaluating whether to make a voluntary disclosure to government authorities when a likely violation occurred.
  • Helped clients who make a disclosure negotiate favorable resolution.

And when self-reporting isn’t an option, we’ve successfully represented our clients’ interests before the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission, and state Attorneys’ General.

 

Representative Matters

Representative matters specific to antitrust issues in healthcare 

  • Advising medical supply companies on joint purchasing arrangements and designing them to achieve the client’s objective of reducing purchasing costs while still complying with the Health Care Guidelines
  • Advising physician groups on the spectrum of antitrust challenges, including how to structure their organizations so that they can effectively negotiate with major payors without running afoul of the antitrust laws
  • Defending clients against price fixing and/or monopolization claims and medical staff privilege cases raising issues under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act
  • Helping hospital mergers and joint ventures, medical facility transfers and restructurings, and physician joint ventures proceed with the compliance of relevant constituents, such as payors, competitors and regulator authorities
  • Identifying, analyzing and addressing opposition as part of the structure of the transition, before it becomes entrenched
  • Laying the groundwork for compliance early on for transactions with important competitive consequences
  • Practical application of the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission’s Antitrust Enforcement Policies in Health Care
  • Representing pathology labs in business combination transactions
  • Representing hospitals in the negotiation of “most favored nations” clauses and in the resolution of disputes with payors regarding the application of such clauses
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