Antitrust News & Briefs  

The rapid and dramatic expansion of cartel enforcement across multiple jurisdictions is probably the most significant development in antitrust enforcement over the past decade.  Companies now face simultaneous or serial enforcement actions not only in the United States and the European Union, but also in Asia and in emerging markets across the globe.  When a cartel investigation begins simultaneously in multiple jurisdictions, our antitrust team in Washington and Brussels responds immediately to help clients develop a unified global strategic defense.

We stand ready to handle “dawn raids” (see our emergency contact information) and work quickly with clients around the globe to assess facts and make strategic choices in the critical first hours and days.  Over the course of the matter, we provide proactive and vigorous defense to limit our clients’ exposure to government prosecution, fines, and penalties.  When appropriate, our team secures immunity and leniency positions with the enforcement agencies.  When alternative strategies are preferable, we mount vigorous defenses, including full trial and appeals.  Steptoe’s white-collar criminal defense practice—one of the most significant in Washington and New York—helps defend in criminal trials of corporations and top management in the United States.  And throughout, we incorporate our extensive experience defending the “follow-on” civil damages claims almost inevitably brought in the United States and increasingly in Europe.

Our team represents clients in cartel investigations by the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department (DOJ) in the United States and by the European Commission (EC).  We regularly help deploy and coordinate defense strategies with counsel in many other jurisdictions, including Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, and others.  Working with clients from around the world, we also have significant experience addressing cultural and language differences, as well as practical issues facing businesses that might be experiencing cartel or major foreign liability exposure for the first time.

Our attorneys are currently defending several large multinational corporations in ongoing international cartel investigations both in the United States and Europe.  Members of our team have forcefully defended companies, often with very favorable outcomes, in the following recent complex cartel investigations:

  • Airfreight
  • Passenger air services
  • Freight Forwarding
  • Marine Hose
  • Acrylics
  • Heat Stabilizers
  • Flat Glass and Auto Glass
  • Urethanes
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Vitamins
  • Lysine, Fructose, Citric Acid
  • Catfish
  • Many non-public US grand jury investigations