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Overview

Antitrust and competition issues affect every business that prices its goods, sells to customers, and interacts with competitors. Not understanding the federal and state competition laws that govern a company's conduct can result in expensive and time-consuming investigations and litigation. Calfee’s antitrust and competition attorneys have for decades counseled clients on the antitrust issues impacting their operations so they can prudently achieve their business goals.

We advise our clients regularly on antitrust issues affecting their everyday operations such as pricing and distribution, employee education and compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and antitrust litigation ranging from smaller disputes to complex antitrust class actions. Our work has assisted clients in industries including manufacturing, retail and consumer goods, food and beverage, automotive parts, health care, chemicals, and real estate. Because understanding competition risks requires detailed knowledge of the marketplace in which a business operates, we learn the details, and we work with our colleagues across the spectrum of Calfee’s practice areas, to ensure our clients are provided cost-effective, responsive, and practical advice.

From our antitrust and trade regulation counseling and litigation capabilities, to antitrust and competition compliance services, our guidance in the competition realm is always tailored to our clients' needs.

Noteworthy

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in Antitrust Law and in Antitrust Litigation (Metropolitan Cleveland).

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Antitrust Compliance

Antitrust Compliance

The high stakes associated with antitrust laws make a compliance program critical to manage and minimize your company’s antitrust risks. Violations can lead to criminal convictions, prison sentences and corporate fines and civil awards in the tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Antitrust investigations – even if successfully defended – cost businesses time and resources. In addition to all these risks, antitrust violations can impact severely a company’s reputation. An effective compliance program can not only prevent serious violations, but also root out cartel activity at an early stage, which could assist a company in taking advantage of leniency rules for early reporting to U.S. and foreign antitrust authorities.

Calfee has extensive experience designing and implementing antitrust compliance programs for clients in a variety of industries, addressing both in-house counsel and business teams. Calfee designs antitrust compliance programs that will assist its clients in meeting the standards of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines so that they can be deemed “effective” and thus potentially serve as a mitigating factor in criminal sentencing. These programs address the risks your employees face in areas as varied as competitor relations, purchasing and distribution policies, pricing practices, trade association activity, mergers and acquisitions, and other concerns.

Because the potential risks depend significantly on the specific market environment of your business, our antitrust compliance programs are tailored to the unique circumstances of your company, including the business size, products and market position. We educate your employees as to the risks arising from seemingly harmless interactions in the marketplace. Our goal is to help you achieve your business goals while minimizing your antitrust risks.

Antitrust Compliance Risks

Some of the most serious antitrust compliance risks include the following:

  • Per se violations of the Sherman Act, including price-fixing, bid-rigging and market allocations with competitors, are criminal violations that can result in millions of dollars in fines and restitution and even prison sentences for executives. Winning plaintiffs in civil antitrust actions collect treble damages and attorney fee awards. Even antitrust investigations are expensive and burdensome for companies and employees.
  • Many companies face potential price discrimination risks under the Robinson-Patman Act, and their pricing policies pose uncertain risks related to shifting resale price maintenance rules under the Sherman Act and state antitrust laws.
  • Dominant firms face additional risks under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, which poses additional considerations for those companies with market power.

A thorough compliance program also can address the antitrust rules governing vertical relationships with suppliers and customers, including dealer restraints, dealer terminations and non-price restrictions on customers.

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Practice Contacts

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S. News – Best Lawyers in Antitrust Law and Antitrust Litigation (Metropolitan Cleveland).

Best Law Firms Rankings 2019

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