Antitrust Litigation and Counseling

Frost Brown Todd focuses on creating opportunities and limiting risks in all aspects of our clients’ businesses. Our antitrust practice includes a team of seasoned antitrust counselors and trial lawyers, to whom many organizations have turned when facing must-win antitrust litigation or when in need of guidance on critical acquisition, sales, distribution, market structure or other competitive issues.

Client Focused

We focus on helping our clients achieve and maximize their business objectives within the bounds of antitrust and competition laws. With experienced antitrust lawyers and our multi-state reach, we can handle antitrust matters of all sizes. Clients benefit from the team's depth of experience in every aspect of antitrust law and their skill across industries including healthcare, food service supply chains, manufacturing, sports, energy and a variety of other fields. We understand our clients' businesses and the practical consequences of alternative business options, and we use that understanding to achieve the optimal outcome for our clients while simultaneously minimizing antitrust and competition law risk.

Experience

Our antitrust lawyers represent parties in litigation initiated by private parties as well as governmental agencies, from the trial stage through all levels of appeal. One of our recent successes was on behalf of our client NASCAR. In mid-2005, Kentucky Speedway sued NASCAR and its sister company, International Speedway Corporation (“ISC”), over NASCAR’s refusal to award Kentucky Speedway an event in NASCAR’s most popular series, the NEXTEL Cup Series. Racetracks owned by ISC host about half of the races in the NEXTEL Cup Series. Kentucky Speedway alleged that NASCAR had illegally monopolized the “premium stock car racing” market and conspired with ISC and other race track operators to deprive Kentucky Speedway of a NEXTEL Cup race. In early 2008, U.S. District Judge William Bertelsman granted summary judgment to NASCAR and ISC and excluded the testimony of Kentucky Speedway’s experts.

Our experience runs the gamut of competition law including price-fixing, market allocation, monopolization, exclusive dealing and price discrimination matters:

  • Defense of a national oil company on price discrimination allegations
  • Defense of HMO in price-fixing litigation under Ohio’s Valentine Act
  • Defense of §2 Sherman Act monopolization claim in pharmaceuticals industry
  • Defense of auto industry manufacturer against attempted monopolization and tying claims based on enforcement of allegedly invalid intellectual property rights
  • Defense of hospital and its former executive against exclusive dealing and tying claims arising out of exclusive radiology provider contract
  • Defense of a stainless steel manufacturer against claims of exclusive dealing and monopolization based on Walker Process and sham litigation theories
  • Defense of group boycott and related allegations against a minority business development council
  • Defense of Sherman Act restraint of trade/monopolization claims concerning placement of minor league baseball franchise
  • Defense of §1 Sherman Act group boycott claims involving referral practices in debt counseling industry
  • Local lead trial counsel in Ohio Attorney General tobacco litigation
  • Defense of Sherman Act monopolization case involving on-campus student food service center
  • Defense of §§1 and 2 Sherman Act claims against cleaning service franchisor
  • Prosecution of §1 Sherman Act iron ore price-fixing overcharge case
  • Defense of a chemical producer against Attorney General’s claims of bid-rigging on sales to public entities
  • Defense of Sherman Act and Robinson-Patman Act claims brought by local distributors
  • Defense of refusal-to-deal claim
  • Obtaining clearance from the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division for numerous mergers and acquisitions under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act
  • Counsel and guidance for purchasing organizations including the food service industry's largest purchasing cooperative
  • Competition analysis for numerous consolidations in the financial institution arena

Services

We find practical solutions for complex problems -- litigation, transactions, criminal defense and counseling -- in all areas of antitrust and competition law.

Mergers & Acquisitions: Our antitrust counseling in the area of business combinations alerts our clients to possible antitrust challenges to proposed transactions and assists them in structuring transactions so as to minimize antitrust and competition law risk. We also assist our clients with all facets of the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger review process, from the requisite filings to persuading the agencies to litigating any challenges, if necessary.

General Counseling: Our broad knowledge and experience with the entire range of antitrust and competition law issues allow us to counsel our clients on a wide variety of business matters with efficiency and sophistication. Our counseling includes such critical matters as pricing (including price-fixing and Robinson-Patman/price discrimination issues), market and territorial restrictions, supply and distribution agreements, group purchasing arrangements, trade association activities, dealer and franchise arrangements, exclusive dealerships, joint marketing, information exchanges among competitors, intellectual property antitrust issues, healthcare antitrust matters and the whole spectrum of business activities that have the potential to raise issues under the Sherman Act, the Clayton Act and other state and federal competition laws.

Litigation: Our attorneys have extensive experience in both civil antitrust litigation and antitrust criminal defense. This experience extends to enforcement actions and proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice and other state and federal administrative agencies. Our litigation and criminal defense representation captures the entire spectrum of antitrust and competition law claims including those involving price discrimination (and Robinson-Patman Act issues), price-fixing, territorial and market allocation, boycotts and refusals-to-deal, exclusive dealing, tying arrangements, resale price maintenance (and other vertical restraints), attempted and actual monopolization, dealer and franchise terminations, intellectual property antitrust claims, antitrust class actions and unfair competition (including FTC Act claims).

Preventive Law and Audits: We have the necessary experience and expertise to develop and implement preventive law programs to help our clients in minimizing risk and obtaining compliance with antitrust and competition laws while still achieving their goals. Our attorneys can provide training sessions that are adapted to our clients' particular business needs and the needs of different levels of personnel. We can also perform audits of our clients' businesses to determine whether their existing practices and arrangements are in compliance with applicable antitrust and competition laws.

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