Cleary Gottlieb’s antitrust group draws on more than 75 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 consistent, decades-long exchange of lawyers among our U.S., European, and Asian offices.

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.

Each of our lawyers is cross-trained in all areas of antitrust law, which allows us to provide seamless counseling to clients across:

  • 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.

Leading publications have recognized our practice globally, including Chambers Global, who has ranked our firm Band 1 in the U.S. and Europe since 2011, and Global Competition Review, who has ranked Cleary as the only firm with an “Elite” antitrust practice in Washington, D.C. since 2018.

Notable Experiences

  • Abbott Laboratories in its $25 billion acquisition of St. Jude Medical.

  • Alstom in its €15 billion combination with Siemens’ Mobility Business.

  • Air Liquide in its $13.4 billion acquisition of Airgas—creating the world’s largest supplier of industrial gases.

  • Broadcom, as plaintiff, in a victory over Qualcomm in a monopolization suit involving exclusionary conduct in standard setting—The Third Circuit opinion is the leading case in this area.

  • Chemours in a European Commission investigation into its collaborative arrangement with Honeywell to develop a new automotive refrigerant. After a six-year investigation, the EU Commission closed its proceeding without formal charges.

  • Citigroup in the successful closing of the European Commission’s antitrust investigation into credit default swaps.

  • Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile US in T-Mobile US’s merger with Sprint Corporation for a total combined enterprise value of $146 billion, including in defending litigation brought by a coalition of state attorneys general challenging the merger; also in T-Mobile USA’s $1.5 billion acquisition of MobilePCS and Deutsche Telekom in its previously proposed $39 billion sale of T-Mobile USA to AT&T.

  • Dow Chemical in numerous transactions, including its $130 billion merger of equals with DuPont, among the most challenging international antitrust transactions.

  • Essilor in its $49 billion acquisition of Luxottica, owner of Ray-Ban and Oakley.

  • GlaxoSmithKline in its multibillion, three-part transaction with Novartis involving its Consumer Healthcare, Vaccines and Oncology businesses; required approval in more than 20 jurisdictions.

  • Google in numerous transactions, including its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit, its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility and subsequent sale of Motorola’s mobile devices business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, and its previous acquisitions of Admeld, AdMob, and DoubleClick.

  • Hachette Livre and HarperCollins in the context of the European Commission’s investigation into “most-favored-nation” (MFN) clauses and Amazon’s e-book distribution deals with various publishers.

  • 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.

  • Johnson Controls in its merger with Tyco International, creating a combined firm with a market capitalization of over $40 billion.

  • JUUL Labs in connection with a $12.9 billion investment by Altria Group in JUUL Labs.

  • “K” Line in winning dismissal of price-fixing class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of ocean vehicle carrier services based on creative arguments that these claims were preempted by the Shipping Act, a decision affirmed by the Third Circuit; and in actions before the Federal Maritime Commission, where dismissal was also affirmed.

  • Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha and its subsidiary “K” Line America in winning dismissal of price fixing class actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of ocean vehicle carrier services—a decision recently upheld by the Third Circuit.

  • Keurig in successfully defending its victory on appeal to the Second Circuit, which affirmed the denial of a motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to block the launch of Keurig’s flagship 2.0 coffee brewer.

  • Lafarge in its €40 billion merger of equals with Holcim, which created the world’s largest construction materials company; required approval in 20 jurisdictions.

  • Lagardère as intervenor in a successful appeal before the European Court of Justice concerning access to documents in a merger control proceeding concerning the acquisition of Vivendi Universal Publishing.

  • LATAM Airlines Group in its $1.9 billion partnership with Delta Airlines.

  • Molson Coors and MillerCoors in connection with AB InBev’s $100 billion acquisition of SABMiller and the related $12 billion acquisition by Molson Coors of SABMiller’s interest in their U.S. joint venture, MillerCoors, and the global Miller brand portfolio.

  • 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, Omron and Valeo in numerous class action price-fixing cases.Won dismissal of Faurecia S.A. from the civil cases and denial of plaintiffs’ class certification motion in NSK bearings MDL.

  • Numerous major financial institutions, including Citigroup and HSBC, in 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.

  • OpenText in its $1.42 billion acquisition of Carbonite, its $1.62 billion acquisition of Dell EMC’s enterprise content division and in its previous $1.165 billion acquisition of GXS Group.

  • Sabre Holdings in an appellate victory overturning a jury verdict for US Airways in a challenge to Sabre’s online contracts; appellate court affirmed Cleary’s summary judgment victories that sharply reduce damages.

  • Saint-Gobain in its $1.4 billion acquisition of Continental Building Products.

  • Sanofi US in winning summary judgment in a multibillion-dollar lawsuit challenging its loyalty discounts program—a decision upheld by the Third Circuit.

  • SES Astra before the EU General Court in winning the dismissal of appeals against the European Commission decision finding that the state measures at issue constituted unlawful and incompatible State aid.

  • 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.

  • The Walt Disney Company (EU antitrust) and 21st Century Fox (U.S. antitrust) in Disney’s $71.3 billion acquisition of 21st Century Fox after the spinoff of certain businesses

  • Western Digital in its approximately $17 billion acquisition of SanDisk, as well as its previous $4.8 billion acquisition of Hitachi’s hard disk drive business, both of which required approval in the U.S., EU, China and other jurisdictions.

  • Whirlpool Corporation in the sale of its Embraco refrigeration compressors business to Nidec Corporation for $1.08 billion.

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