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Antitrust

Vinson & Elkins’ nationally recognized Antitrust and Competition law practice brings clients more than 50 years of experience handling every aspect of antitrust, including grand jury investigations into cartel conduct, joint ventures, global mergers and acquisitions, civil litigation, and antitrust investigations, which have involved monopolization, exclusive dealing, tying, boycotts, and unfair trade practices under state and federal laws.

We have a team of lawyers located throughout the country dedicated to handling antitrust matters for our multinational and domestic clients across a wide array of industries. V&E’s interdisciplinary approach leverages the skills and experience of our Litigation, White-Collar Defense, Intellectual Property, Corporate, Appellate, and Securities practices to provide thorough representation and optimum results for our clients.

Scope of Practice

Our Antitrust lawyers provide pre-litigation counseling to clients on highly complex mergers, acquisitions, and competitor collaborations. Additionally, we are among the leading firms in filing pre-merger notifications in the U.S. and under multi-jurisdictional merger control regimes, and we lead some of the largest and most complex transactions to successful closings. When necessary, our core team of seasoned litigators is prepared to aggressively defend claims in state and federal courts, as well as investigations and enforcement proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division, federal regulatory agencies, and state attorneys general.

Experienced Team

V&E’s strong reputation rests on our lawyers’ successful defense of bet-the-company claims in governmental actions, putative class actions by direct and indirect purchasers, and claims brought by opt-out plaintiffs throughout the country, in both federal and state courts. Our success results from an Antitrust team with significant government and regulatory experience, including former DOJ prosecutors and proven trial lawyers able to effectively defend companies and individuals summoned before grand juries or indicted for alleged antitrust offenses. Our team possesses a deep understanding of the approaches, arguments, and economics necessary to see a transaction through to approval by the appropriate regulatory agencies. We also aggressively represent clients when their businesses are injured by anti-competitive conduct — including a victory amounting to the largest antitrust jury verdict of its time, totaling a $1.035 billion judgment with a net amount of $425 million ultimately received by the client.

Experience Highlights

  • (W.D. Tex.) — Representing Phadia US Inc. against federal and state antitrust violations and state tortious interference claims; the case, brought by Allergy & Asthma in Primary Care and United Allergy Services (UAS), alleges our client intimidated primary care physicians from practicing allergy care within their scope of practice, coercing and persuading allergist colleagues to boycott primary care physicians; the outcome of the case will affect how physicians and testing companies compete in the market for allergy testing and allergen immunotherapy in Texas and beyond 

  • Representing a major airline in investigations by the DOJ and state AG’s into allegations that the airlines colluded to restrict capacity in order to maintain higher fares; we also represent the airline in parallel putative class action lawsuits filed across the country, and we are advising them in connection with litigation in Canada 

  • (S.D. Tex.) — Represented Heartbrand Beef, Inc. against claims of conspiracy to restrain trade and monopolization in the market for premium beef in the United States; after a seven-day trial, the jury found in favor of the client, awarding both actual and exemplary damages

  • Southwest Airlines in its $3.4 billion acquisition of AirTran Holdings

  • (N.D. Cal.); (9th Cir.) — Obtained a substantial victory for technology client upholding the district court’s denial of class certification in the In re Optical Disk Drive Products antitrust litigation

  • Represented Permian Mud Service in its sale of Champion Technologies, Inc., one of the world’s largest makers of oilfield chemicals, to Ecolab Inc. for approximately $2.2 billion

  • (N.D. Ga.) — Representing an airline in a multi-district antitrust litigation brought by a putative class of passengers alleging price fixing of checked baggage fees

  • Represented a leading automobile parts supplier and its affiliates in the Department of Justice’s automotive parts investigation

  • (N.D. Cal.); (S.D. Tex.) — Representing a global manufacturer of titanium dioxide in a matter pertaining to ongoing titanium dioxide antitrust litigation; the case, brought by an individual company and an alleged nationwide class of indirect purchasers of titanium dioxide, alleges our client and others conspired to fix the prices of titanium dioxide sold in the U.S. during a certain time period; the cases are currently in discovery

  • (Tex. Dist.) — Represented health care system in private civil lawsuits brought by two physicians alleging Section 1 violations associated with the implementation of new credentialing requirements which resulted in the termination of medical staff privileges for the two plaintiffs; both lawsuits were settled favorably on behalf of client

  • 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

  • (N.D. Ohio)  — Obtained dismissal of antitrust claims brought against a major commercial air carrier against class action and opt-out claims of conspiracy and price-fixing regarding travel agent commissions