Antitrust & Trade Regulation

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Dickinson Wright’s cross-disciplinary team has decades of experience representing national and international clients in antitrust, franchise, dealer/distribution, and “white-collar” criminal matters. Our team of seasoned trial attorneys, litigators, and counselors has successfully represented clients in both federal and state courts and in international arbitrations. We excel in providing cost-effective, practical, and superior legal advice, and we take pride in vigilantly protecting our clients’ interests in an ever-evolving regulatory environment.

Successful Litigation of Civil and Criminal Antitrust Matters

Our antitrust lawyers have successfully litigated civil class actions alleging price fixing, monopolization, and predatory pricing. Our robust civil antitrust litigation experience ranges from representing clients in national, multi-district putative class actions to localized lawsuits governed by state antitrust laws. Beyond our civil litigation experience, our team has extensive experience representing clients in connection with grand jury subpoenas and federal and state criminal investigations and prosecutions. Our commitment to excellence is reflected in the fact that our attorneys have served as Assistant United States Attorneys and include two former Chairs of the State Bar of Michigan’s Antitrust and Franchise Law section.

Antitrust and Trade Regulation Counseling

Clients frequently retain us for regulatory compliance and risk avoidance advice, including guidance on transaction structuring and related business activities. Our antitrust transaction and counseling practice provides advice on domestic and international mergers, joint ventures, strategic alliances, and collaborative activity among competitors. We also offer guidance on competition issues in international trade agreements, as well as advice and review of regional, multi-jurisdictional, national, international, bilateral, and multilateral antitrust cooperation agreements involving production, commercialization, and research and development activities. We counsel clients in a wide range of industries and franchise businesses of all types on all aspects of antitrust and trade regulation, including:

  • Complying with state non-compete laws, dealer-distributor relations, supply and distribution arrangements, exclusivity arrangements, group boycotts, terminations, and other anti-competitive activities.
  • Devising pricing strategies and addressing pricing issues, such as resale price maintenance, price discrimination, minimum advertising price (MAP) policies, vertical and horizontal price fixing, and Robinson-Patman Act pricing compliance.
  • Guiding transactions through the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) review process at the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, assuring their compliance with applicable laws, and resolving ensuing inquiries arising from civil investigative demands (CID).

Dealer/Distribution Litigation

As trade regulation practitioners, we routinely counsel clients on the complex framework of federal and state laws and regulations that govern dealer and distributor relations. If a dispute in this area should escalate to litigation, clients ranging from two of Detroit’s “Big Three” automakers to smaller, privately-held businesses trust us to successfully represent their interests in a variety of disputes, including complex wrongful termination cases, “Dealer Day in Court” actions and state and federal matters concerning unfair and deceptive trade practices. Our team has tried cases in state and federal courts across the country and possesses particular experience in international arbitration forums.

Representative Case Matters

  • Counseled numerous clients on antitrust and regulatory compliance matters such as competitor collaborations/joint ventures, IP and software licensing and dealer/distribution networks in industries such as automotive, cannabis, franchise, health care, and software technology.
  • Successfully represented Fortune 100 Company in DOJ investigation for alleged participation in international price fixing cartel and resulting putative civil antitrust class actions. No charges were brought in criminal investigation and obtained dismissal of putative civil antitrust class actions.
  • Successfully represented leading guitar manufacturer in FTC investigation into alleged price fixing in the musical instruments industry, resulting in closing of investigation with no charges or consent decree against client and obtained dismissal of subsequent MDL civil class action following limited discovery.
  • Successfully represented OEM in antitrust/RICO litigation with claimed damages in excess of $3 billion. Obtained dismissal of all thirteen causes of action in the District Court and dismissal affirmed by Sixth Circuit on appeal.
  • Members of trial team for nationwide antitrust class-action matter, and obtained a favorable resolution of over $151 million.
  • Represent personal lines property and casualty insurer in multi-district antitrust litigation brought by auto body shops.
  • Principal author of an amicus brief cited by the U.S. Supreme Court in its landmark antitrust decision in Leegin Creative Leather Products, Inc. v. PSKS, Inc., 551 U.S. 877 (2007).
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