Cleary Gottlieb’s antitrust group draws on 65 years of experience practicing antitrust law on both sides of the Atlantic, providing clients with unified strategy and advocacy. 

We offer clients a unique transatlantic perspective that is invaluable in today’s increasingly borderless business landscape. Our integrated, global team approach was built through a regular, decades-long, exchange of lawyers among our U.S., European and Asian offices.

Our antitrust lawyers work together seamlessly to provide clients with cutting-edge expertise in all areas of antitrust law, including:

  • Pre-merger notification and substantive defense of transactions;
  • Every type and stage of government investigation, including cartels;
  • Wide range of civil and criminal antitrust litigation;
  • State aid awards; and
  • General counseling, antitrust audits, and compliance programs.

Our team includes some of the most highly regarded lawyers in the field, including former senior officials from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Competition, as well as several lawyers who have worked at the European Courts in Luxembourg.

In recognition of our consistent and unmatched strength in this area, Cleary has been named “Antitrust/Competition Law Firm of the Year” by Chambers Global or Chambers USA four out of the last five years, and we continue to be the only law firm ranked in the top tier in both the United States and Europe by Chambers Global. Global Competition Review recently noted Cleary Gottlieb “…straddles the Atlantic like a colossus. No other firm has an ‘elite’ rated practice in Washington, D.C., and Brussels – the world’s two centres for competition law.”

Notable Experience

  • Actavis in its acquisition of Allergan. The combination creates one of the top 10 global pharmaceutical companies by sales revenue.

  • Numerous automotive parts suppliers in global cartel investigations by European Commission, U.S. DOJ and other antitrust authorities into possible price-fixing in the automotive parts industry, as well as advising Aisin Seiki, NSK and Valeo in numerous class action price-fixing cases.

  • Chemours in a European Commission investigation into its collaborative arrangement with Honeywell to develop a new automotive refrigerant. This investigation is considered to be a high-profile case on the intersection of EU IP law and antitrust law.

  • Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group in its $2.3 billion acquisition by Hertz Global Holdings, a merger involving multiple competing bids over 30 months. Named “Merger Control Matter of the Year (Americas)” by Global Competition Review in 2012.

  • Deutsche Post’s DHL Global Forwarding in connection with U.S. DOJ and global antitrust investigations into the freight forwarding industry, as well as in defending against a purported class action in New York alleging a conspiracy to fix prices in the freight forwarding industry; recently won partial dismissal of conspiracy claims.

  • Family Dollar Stores in its $9.3 billion acquisition by Dollar Tree, as well as in the competing unsolicited bids by Dollar General.

  • Multiple major financial institutions in criminal and regulatory investigations in the U.S., Europe and Asia regarding allegations of manipulation and collusion concerning Foreign Exchange (FX) trading, and LIBOR, ISDAFIX and other benchmark rates.

  • GlaxoSmithKline in its multibillion, three-part transaction with Novartis involving its Consumer Healthcare, Vaccines and Oncology businesses; required approval in more than 20 jurisdictions. Named “Matter of the Year” by Global Competition Review in 2015.

  • Google in the $2.91 billion sale of Motorola Mobility’s mobile devices business to Lenovo and in previous acquisitions including Motorola, Admeld, AdMob and DoubleClick.

  • Merck & Co on the non-U.S. antitrust aspects in the sale of its Consumer Care Business to Bayer, and its previous merger with Schering-Plough and sale of Merial to Sanofi-Aventis.

  • Huawei Technologies in a referral proceeding to the European Court of Justice (ECJ) originating from German litigation on standard essential patents before the Düsseldorf Regional Court against ZTE Corporation. This ECJ’s judgment clarified a number of important rules relating to the permissibility of injunctions based on standard-essential patents under Article 102 TFEU.

  • IMS Health in its industry-transforming transaction with Cegedim, creating one of the leading suppliers of pharmaceutical market research, and in its previous acquisition of SDI Health.

  • “K” Line in cartel investigations by the U.S. DOJ and other antitrust authorities into possible price fixing in the car shipping industry, as well as in winning complete dismissal of related class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of ocean vehicle carrier services.

  • Keurig Green Mountain in successfully defeating a preliminary injunction motion seeking to block the launch of Keurig’s 2.0 coffee brewer, as well as in related and ongoing monopolization litigation brought by competitors and purported class action plaintiffs.

  • Lafarge in its €40 billion merger of equals with Holcim, which created the world’s largest construction materials company; required approval in 20 jurisdictions. Named “Merger Control Matter of the Year (Europe)” by Global Competition Review in 2015.

  • Lundbeck in an appeal before the European General Court against the European Commission’s €94 million fine in the Article 101 TFEU investigation concerning the legality of so-called “reverse payment settlement agreements”. This is the first case decided by the European Commission dealing with reverse payment settlement agreements.

  • Medtronic in its $49.9 billion acquisition of Covidien, notably cleared less than six months after announcement, including in the U.S., EU and China.

  • SACE before the European General Court in successfully obtaining the partial suspension of a European Commission order to repay contested State aid. This is one of the very few instances in EU case law in which an application for suspension of an order to repay State aid declared illegal and incompatible has been granted.

  • Sanofi U.S. in successfully defending against a multibillion dollar monopolization lawsuit brought by a competitor challenging Sanofi’s loyalty discounts for its anticoagulant drug, Lovenox.

  • Teladoc in winning a landmark preliminary injunction against the Texas Medical Board, preventing the implementation of a rule that effectively would have ended telehealth in Texas.

  • United Technologies Corporation in numerous transactions, including on the EU antitrust aspects of its $9 billion sale of the Sikorsky business unit to Lockheed Martin and in its acquisition of Goodrich.

  • Western Digital in its $4.8 billion acquisition of Hitachi’s hard drive business, which required approval in the U.S., EU, China and other jurisdictions; also advised Western Digital in its acquisitions of sTec and Virident Systems.

  • Whirlpool and Embraco (a majority-owned subsidiary) in cartel litigation regarding the refrigeration compressor industry in the United States and elsewhere, including a successful Sixth Circuit appeal. Also counsel to Whirlpool in numerous transactions, including its acquisition of a controlling stake in Indesit Company.

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