Polsinelli’s Antitrust practice solves antitrust problems on matters ranging from mergers and acquisitions to intellectual property to complex litigation and consumer protection matters.

Our practice includes both experienced litigators and transactional lawyers.  As a result, we have the experience to provide solutions across the spectrum of antitrust law.  Because antitrust issues often are critical to our clients’ businesses, we work closely with clients to develop a strategy that is consistent with their goals and objectives. 

Mergers and Acquisitions 

  • We work with clients at all steps of their transactions to minimize antitrust exposure during contract formation, negotiation of terms, exchanges of sensitive information, pre-closing operations, and closing.
  • We counsel clients about all aspects of their reporting obligations under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act, and guide them through the merger review process. 
  • Our lawyers have defended multi-billion-dollar mergers of competitors.  We have responded to numerous Second Requests and other discovery demands, prepared and presented facts and economic expert testimony to antitrust enforcers and courts, and (where necessary) negotiated consent decrees to allow the deal to close.

Antitrust Litigation and Government Investigations 

  • We understand antitrust litigation from all angles.  Polsinelli has successfully represented plaintiffs and defendants in antitrust trials and appeals in class actions, Bet-The-Company lawsuits, multidistrict litigation, and government civil and criminal enforcement actions.   
  • We represent clients whose conduct is being investigated under the antitrust laws by the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Department of Justice, and State Attorneys General.

Antitrust Counseling, Audits and Compliance Training

  • Our team counsels clients on structuring business operations to minimize antitrust risks.
  • We conduct custom-designed, comprehensive antitrust audits of business operations to identify risks, prevent violations, and address problems before they surface in litigation. 
  • We train executives and management to recognize and avoid antitrust violations. 

Protecting your Rights under the Antitrust Laws

  • We aggressively represent plaintiffs who have been injured by antitrust violations.  Our goal is to end the violation and recover compensation for injured clients.
  • We represent parties bringing complaints to antitrust enforcement agencies and often persuade the agency to take corrective action to stop anti-competitive conduct.
Antitrust Litigation – for Defendants
  • In two separate matters, represented major athletic conferences in antitrust class actions filed against a national collegiate sports association and other major athletic conferences, alleging that the association’s rules limiting compensation for student athletes were in violation of the Sherman Act.
  • Represented two athletic conferences in a class action filed alleging antitrust and intellectual property claims against TV broadcasters and certain Division I college athletic conferences.
  • Defense of an antitrust claim against a national association of high school sports and a national association of collegiate sports by a baseball bat manufacturer, alleging that rules governing Bat-Ball Coefficient of Restitution restrained trade in the non-wood bat market.  The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously affirmed dismissal of the antitrust claims, reaffirming our client’s role in setting rules for high school competition.
  • Defended antitrust claims alleging that a software company with revenues of $55.8 billion per year excluded another technology company from the US market for x86 computer microprocessors.
  • Successfully defended claims by a group of franchisees in a tire and automotive products franchise system for tens of millions of dollars arising out of claims that the defendants engaged in conspiracy to breach contract, fraud, violation of various antitrust laws, including the Robinson-Patman Act and other claims.  
  • Defended class action by nurses alleging that association of hospitals and individual hospitals conspired to fix nurses’ salary in violation of federal and state antitrust laws.
  • Represented a manufacturer and distributor of commercial garage doors in a Robinson-Patman Act claim in which the plaintiff, a dealer for our client, alleged that our client gave unlawful preferential prices to a competing dealer.  The Court granted our motion for summary judgment, holding that plaintiff had not established either unlawful price discrimination or injury to competition.
Antitrust Litigation – for Plaintiffs
  • Represent Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Wisconsin retail purchasers of natural gas against natural gas sellers in price-fixing suit alleging price manipulation.  Obtained a 7-2 decision in the United States Supreme Court holding that the Natural Gas Act does not preempt the plaintiffs’ state-law antitrust claims.
  • Represented a class of direct purchasers of thin film transistor liquid crystal display panels that sued numerous Japanese, Korean and Taiwanese based manufacturers for price-fixing. Settlements of almost $500 million were obtained, as was a jury verdict against Toshiba.
  • Represented a class of direct purchasers of potash in a price-fixing case against an international cartel. Obtained a unanimous en banc opinion from the 7th Circuit on the non-applicability of the Foreign Trade Anti-Trust Improvements Act (FTAIA) and a $90 million dollar settlement for the Class. 
  • Successfully represented plaintiff telecommunications company against nation’s largest cable operator.  The suit included antitrust claims under Section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act and a claim for tortious interference claim and was tried in the United States District Court for seven weeks.  Obtained a verdict on each of the two antitrust counts of $10.8 million trebled to $32.4 million and a verdict on the tortious interference claim of $10.8 million plus $25 million punitive damages (total $35.8 million). Affirmed by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals; certiorari denied by the United States Supreme Court and judgment collected.  
  • Represent direct purchasers of lithium ion batteries against manufacturers who participated in an international price-fixing conspiracy.  
  • Represent indirect purchasers of coffee pods against a major manufacturer of coffee brewing equipment, in a suit alleging violations of antitrust and unfair competition laws of numerous states.  
  • Represent direct purchasers of capacitors, in a suit alleging that the defendants participated in an international price-fixing conspiracy.  
  • Represent direct purchasers of CRT products, including television screens and computer monitors, against manufacturers who engaged in an international price-fixing conspiracy.  
  • Lead trial counsel for the State of Missouri claims under Section 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act against several of the major producers and distributors of natural gas in Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas.  The case was tried for 10 days before settlement of claims.  Total settlement for all plaintiffs in excess of $200 million. 
  • Successfully negotiated on behalf of the State of Missouri and others for an aggregate settlement of more than $400 million in claims involving antitrust price-fixing. 
  • After eight years of complex litigation, helped recover significant awards and settlements for prominent distributors engaged in associated multilevel marketing businesses that were seeking to recover tens of millions of dollars in commercial litigation cases filed in state and federal courts in Missouri and Florida.  Their claims included a variety of tort, contract, and antitrust claims.
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