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Antitrust Investigations

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating and prosecuting national and international cartels at an increasing rate. It is now commonplace that the DOJ will collect more than $1 billion in fines and bring more than 50 criminal cases on an annual basis. Since 2009, the DOJ has obtained more than $5 billion in criminal fines. Average jail sentences for antitrust crimes are now 24 months of incarceration. A top priority of the DOJ is to prosecute international price-fixing and bid-rigging agreements that impact U.S. consumers.

Vinson & Elkins' lawyers have represented corporate defendants and/or individuals in nearly every major investigation over the past decade. Partnering with our Government Investigations and White Collar practice, our Antitrust team includes experienced former DOJ prosecutors and seasoned defense lawyers who are able to effectively defend companies and individuals summoned before grand juries or indicted for alleged antitrust offenses. We have represented clients in such diverse industries as transportation, computer products, steel, chemicals, energy services, real estate, consumer products, and food and beverages, representing both domestic and foreign companies and individuals in connection with alleged international conspiracies.

In addition, our team has helped many companies avoid criminal investigations by proactively conducting internal investigations and conducting antitrust training. Indeed, we have also represented companies in obtaining amnesty from the Antitrust Division of the DOJ. The government has a very successful amnesty program that allows companies to self-report antitrust violations in return for an agreement that the corporation and its employees will not be prosecuted. In short, we know the process and are able to move clients through the investigation effectively and efficiently, and when necessary, we are prepared to litigate.





    Additional Information

    Additional Information

    Practice Highlights

    • Represented a leading automobile parts supplier and its affiliates in the Department of Justice’s automotive parts investigation
    • Represented a global manufacturer of commodity chemicals in a civil antitrust case and related grand jury investigation alleging that our client conspired to fix prices of polyurethane chemicals; the investigation was terminated without any indictments
    • Represented a foreign corporation in a DOJ investigation of criminal international antitrust violations, including price-fixing and global market allocation in the maritime construction industry; client was not charged and ancillary civil litigation was resolved favorably
    • Represented real estate investor and related entities in connection with a DOJ investigation involving allegations of bid-rigging
    • Represented hospital in a DOJ investigation of a rural hospital with regard to claims of monopolization and attempted monopolization
    • Represented a major oil and gas producer in response to separate investigations by the Attorneys General of Texas and Louisiana regarding alleged anticompetitive conduct in the administration of drug testing services for workers on offshore oil and gas producing facilities; after responding to requests for documents and providing interviews, the AGs separately closed their investigations without taking any action against the client

    Practice Highlights

    • 大手自動車部品サプライヤー及びその関連会社の代理人として、米国司法省による自動車部品案件の調査対応を手がけました。
    • 米国内外の政府当局が調査中の独占禁止法案件において、国際企業とその米国関連会社の代理人を務めています。本件の調査対象には、世界規模の航空・海上輸送市場に関わるカルテル行為と価格協定が含まれており、関連市場の評価、取引額及び発生し得る損害などが主な争点になっています。
    • 汎用化学製品の世界的メーカーが共謀してポリウレタン関連の価格協定を行ったとする独占禁止法の民事事件及びそれに関係する大陪審捜査について、当該メーカーの代理人を務めました。本件の捜査は何ら起訴につながることなく終了しました。
    • 海洋建設業界の価格協定と世界的市場分割等に関して、米国司法省が実施した国際的独占禁止法違反の刑事審査において、外国法人の代理人を務めました。依頼人は告訴されず、付随する民事訴訟も依頼人勝訴で終結しました。
    • 現在、独占禁止法違反の申立てに関して米国司法省が進める大陪審捜査において、大手企業の代理人を務めています。
    • 談合の疑いに関する米国司法省の調査に関して、不動産投資家及び関連法人の代理人を務めました。
    • 地域病院による独占行為及び独占を企図したという申立てに関する米国司法省の調査について、病院の代理人を務めました。
    • オフショアの石油及びガス生産施設の作業員を対象とした薬物検査サービスの実施に関連した反競争的行為の申立てに関し、テキサス州及びルイジアナ州の司法長官が個別に行った捜査への対応において、大手石油・ガス生産会社の代理人を務めました。文書提出要求への回答及び事情聴取の後、両州の司法長官はそれぞれ、当事務所の依頼人に対して一切訴訟を提起することなく捜査を終結しました。

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