Antitrust Government Investigations


Sidley’s antitrust team represents both individual and corporate clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement proceedings throughout the world.

Our clients include not only the subjects of such public proceedings, but also complainants, third-party witnesses and recipients of questionnaires and compulsory process. We represent clients in proceedings in the United States, the European Union, China and elsewhere, frequently coordinating multi-jurisdictional efforts and engaging local counsel where necessary to ensure that our clients’ interests are adequately protected around the globe.

In defending clients, our goal is to persuade the authority to close its investigation, to proceed civilly rather than criminally or to recommend another approach leading toward a favorable outcome. We also help clients to negotiate remedies, and changes to remedies, to address the concerns of enforcement authorities.

Cartels: Much of our work on government investigations involves representing individuals and companies in connection with alleged cartel activity . We have represented some of the largest manufacturing and services companies in the world in connection with the recent world-wide cartel investigations in the defense contracting, display, air cargo, freight forwarding, submarine cable and auto parts industries.

Merger Control: Similarly, we regularly represent companies of all sizes in connection with antitrust investigations of mergers, joint ventures and similar transactions, including alleged failures to make necessary merger control filings. Additional detail about our work on mergers is available here.

Other Antitrust Investigations: Finally, we regularly represent clients in connection with investigations into allegedly anticompetitive conduct other than cartel activity and mergers, including investigations of allegedly harmful monopolization or abuse of dominance, tying, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance and other offenses. We represent not only the subjects in such proceedings, but also complainants and other third-parties.

Representative Engagements:

  • We represented a major trade association in connection with allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice that its policies concerning the display of product information on the Internet were anticompetitive. After extensive nationwide discovery, the client succeeded in settling this case on favorable terms.
  • We acted for a major consumer products company in settling allegations of alleged resale price maintenance by the Attorneys General in the states of New York, Illinois, and Michigan.
  • We defended a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into suspected monopolization activities.
  • We acted for a technology trade association as an intervener in a European Commission investigation into a dominant company’s tying practices and its refusal to supply interoperability information.
  • We represented a major U.S. investment bank in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into certain practices related to the trading of credit derivatives.
  • We represented a European trade association in connection with the European Commission’s oral hearing in an Article 101 case against another organization, including preparing the client’s presentation to the Commission and attending the hearing.
  • We advised a leading supplier of personal care products in connection with a U.K. Office of Fair Trading investigation into price coordination in the grocery retail sector.
  • We represented a large player in the money transfer space in connection with a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation into its allegedly anticompetitive exclusive dealing arrangements. The Department dropped this investigation without action.

Sidley’s antitrust team represents both individual and corporate clients in criminal and civil investigations and enforcement proceedings throughout the world.

Our clients include not only the subjects of such public proceedings, but also complainants, third-party witnesses and recipients of questionnaires and compulsory process. We represent clients in proceedings in the United States, the European Union, China and elsewhere, frequently coordinating multi-jurisdictional efforts and engaging local counsel where necessary to ensure that our clients’ interests are adequately protected around the globe.

In defending clients, our goal is to persuade the authority to close its investigation, to proceed civilly rather than criminally or to recommend another approach leading toward a favorable outcome. We also help clients to negotiate remedies, and changes to remedies, to address the concerns of enforcement authorities.

Cartels: Much of our work on government investigations involves representing individuals and companies in connection with alleged cartel activity . We have represented some of the largest manufacturing and services companies in the world in connection with the recent world-wide cartel investigations in the defense contracting, display, air cargo, freight forwarding, submarine cable and auto parts industries.

Merger Control: Similarly, we regularly represent companies of all sizes in connection with antitrust investigations of mergers, joint ventures and similar transactions, including alleged failures to make necessary merger control filings. Additional detail about our work on mergers is available here.

Other Antitrust Investigations: Finally, we regularly represent clients in connection with investigations into allegedly anticompetitive conduct other than cartel activity and mergers, including investigations of allegedly harmful monopolization or abuse of dominance, tying, exclusive dealing, resale price maintenance and other offenses. We represent not only the subjects in such proceedings, but also complainants and other third-parties.

Representative Engagements:

  • We represented a major trade association in connection with allegations by the U.S. Department of Justice that its policies concerning the display of product information on the Internet were anticompetitive. After extensive nationwide discovery, the client succeeded in settling this case on favorable terms.
  • We acted for a major consumer products company in settling allegations of alleged resale price maintenance by the Attorneys General in the states of New York, Illinois, and Michigan.
  • We defended a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in an investigation by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission into suspected monopolization activities.
  • We acted for a technology trade association as an intervener in a European Commission investigation into a dominant company’s tying practices and its refusal to supply interoperability information.
  • We represented a major U.S. investment bank in connection with a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into certain practices related to the trading of credit derivatives.
  • We represented a European trade association in connection with the European Commission’s oral hearing in an Article 101 case against another organization, including preparing the client’s presentation to the Commission and attending the hearing.
  • We advised a leading supplier of personal care products in connection with a U.K. Office of Fair Trading investigation into price coordination in the grocery retail sector.
  • We represented a large player in the money transfer space in connection with a lengthy U.S. Department of Justice investigation into its allegedly anticompetitive exclusive dealing arrangements. The Department dropped this investigation without action.
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