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Antitrust Counseling and Compliance

Large global companies face unique antitrust compliance challenges. Their employees abroad are influenced by local practices, traditions, cultures, and laws that can often lead to conduct that raises antitrust risks abroad or at home. Those risks can be multiplied if they compete in industries in which competitors often serve as each other’s customers, suppliers, or joint venture partners. They may operate multiple businesses that can raise very different antitrust risks that require different approaches to minimizing antitrust risk. And, they are subjected to a wide range of different and often conflicting regulatory regimes (including with respect to substantive law but also with respect to enforcement policies and procedures). Coupled with the potential for harsh consequences here in the United States (and in the EU) arising from antitrust violations wherever they are committed, and large, global companies are confronted with the imperative of having in place antitrust compliance programs that will serve to reduce antitrust risks domestically and overseas; maximize the chances that actual or potential antitrust violations will be reported or discovered at the first opportunity; and be able to demonstrate to antitrust enforcers that the company has in place a culture of compliance and a robust and effective compliance program.

We have broad and deep experience in working with our global clients to review their antitrust compliance programs, identify areas for expansion and improvement based upon the company’s industry, global footprint, and other risk-profile factors, as well as the company’s culture and budget, and to then develop an appropriate strategy for program enhancement. We then work with our clients to implement the strategy by revising and developing all materials as needed (guidelines, electronic and other training materials, desk-area materials (e.g., “Do’s and Don’ts), and conducting audits and training sessions as needed. Inevitably, the implementation of any such steps raises questions about and from company employees regarding potential antitrust risks and how to handle them. We also work closely with our clients to develop a strategy for assessing, addressing, and communicating about those risks.

Representative Matters

  • Advising an international healthcare client on complex vertical resale price maintenance issues.
  • Advising on the antitrust issues arising from patent settlement agreements in the IT, agro-seeds and GMO sectors.
  • Advising on the compatibility of CPU design and licensing business models with EU competition law.
  • Advising on the design and implementation of distribution networks in the EU.
  • Advising on the limits of permissible information exchanges between competitors at meetings of trade associations.
  • Providing competition law guidelines for trade associations and monitoring their activities to ensure compliance with competition law.
  • Advising luxury goods manufacturers on the competition aspects of e-commerce .

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