Effective antitrust compliance is good business practice. Antitrust compliance helps business executives avoid unnecessary antitrust risks and assists them in aggressively pursuing their business strategies with a proper assessment of the antitrust risks. We regularly provide compliance advice for clients on ad hoc issues as well as more formally in training programs.
We counsel clients on antitrust compliance issues, not only in conjunction with litigation or transactional work, but as a long-term relationship, collaborating with our clients on the day-to-day running of their businesses. We follow changes in the law, “hot” topics and trends at the antitrust agencies. We advise on assessing the implications of particular pricing, marketing or distribution practices, vertical pricing and restraints, “dominant” firm conduct, including bundling and pricing practices, competitive pricing practices such as agency models, resale price maintenance, tying, discounting and price disparities. We counsel on so-called horizontal issues, including the broad range of competitor collaborations that occur in the marketplace, such as distribution agreements, joint ventures and participation in trade associations.
We also design and implement with our clients compliance programs that engage and effectively educate executives about antitrust risks and solutions. We have worked with clients to help tailor compliance programs to their specific needs – an approach that may include traditional lectures, software modules, online seminars or even training videos that star key client personnel. We also assist clients in giving the compliance training directly or help in-house counsel to provide those presentations. Our programs are designed to help meet the requirements of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines so that they can be deemed “effective” and thereby become a relevant mitigating factor for sentencing purposes. Our antitrust compliance programs are company-specific and cover both state and federal laws. We can also “audit” a company’s policies, procedures and practices to be certain they comply with antitrust laws, as well as recommend solutions when and where they are needed.
Our compliance approach is to help our clients achieve their goals. We base our advice on our legal knowledge, experience and understanding of our clients’ business and industries. But most of all, we strive to present practical and workable advise with clear recommendations and frank and honest assessments of the risks and rewards of possible actions.
Listed below are representative antitrust matters in which our partners have participated.
- Providing advice on antitrust compliance, including distribution, pricing, joint ventures, license agreements, price discrimination, marketing plans and information exchanges.
- Advising on, and assisting clients in developing, pricing and promotional programs in compliance with the Robinson-Patman Act and state laws regulating price discrimination.
- Counseling for trade association activities, including serving as outside general counsel for two national trade associations.
- Advising manufacturing clients on the legality of product distribution restraints under state and federal antitrust laws and European Union competition law.
- Advising a national association of farm equipment manufacturers on recourse against exclusionary distribution practices of a major equipment manufacturer.
- Advising manufacturing clients on the legality of product pricing and discounting under state and federal price discrimination laws.
- Advising clients on compliance with state, federal and foreign antitrust laws applicable to resale price maintenance, exclusive dealing, loyalty discounts, territorial, Internet and other vertical restraints in product distribution, including the European Commission’s Guidelines on Vertical Restraints.