Antitrust and Competition REGULATORY AND GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS

Drawing on our lawyers’ broad experience, we offer clients exceptional insight in dealing with competition agencies in the United States, Europe and around the world.


WilmerHale has one of the leading antitrust and competition practices in the United States and Europe, with more than 50 years of experience and more than 70 competition lawyers in the United States, Europe and China. We have secured antitrust clearance for hundreds of complex mergers and joint ventures, helped clients avoid fines and prison terms in many cartel investigations, and won numerous victories for clients in private and government litigation. Many of our partners and senior counsel have served in high levels of government in the United States or Europe, and all have a wealth of experience representing clients across the full range of antitrust issues. Global Competition Review has repeatedly ranked our practice in the “Top 20 Global Elite” and has distinguished the practice for its “ever-impressive antitrust team.”

Mueller, Thomas

Thomas Mueller

Chair, Antitrust and Competition Practice Group

+1 202 663 6766 (t)

thomas.mueller@wilmerhale.com

Experience

Ranked as one of the leading transatlantic antitrust and competition firms, our recent matters include:

  • Representing Apple, Broadcom, Research in Motion and other industry participants in cases in the United States and throughout the world asserting Sherman Act Section 2 and breach of contract claims arising out of a competitor’s refusal to license patents declared essential to industry standards on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
  • Advising leading academic publisher Springer Science+Business Media (SSBM) in securing merger control clearance from the US Department of Justice, the European Commission and several further authorities worldwide for the combination of SSBM with the majority of Holtzbrinck-owned Macmillan Science and Education (namely Nature Publishing Group, Palgrave Macmillan and the global businesses of Macmillan Education) in a joint venture with approximately EUR 1.5 billion in annual revenues.  
  • Representing Cephalon in a prominent action brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and in separate antitrust actions by putative classes of direct and indirect purchasers of Provigil®, as well as by a would-be generic competitor, Apotex, Inc., all of which challenge Cephalon’s settlement of Hatch-Waxman patent litigation.
  • Representing Intel in FTC Part 3 litigation, where the FTC alleged unlawful monopolization of markets for computer microprocessors and graphics processing.
  • Obtaining US clearance for International Paper’s acquisition of Temple-Inland and obtaining US, German and Chinese clearance for its acquisition of Weyerhauser’s containerboard business.
  • Obtaining first-phase EU clearance for Lufthansa’s sale of British Midland to International Airlines Group, marking the first time that the EU cleared a combination of airlines with hubs at the same airport. Also represented Lufthansa AG in its successful acquisitions of three European air carriers—Brussels Airlines, British Midland and Austrian Airlines.
  • Representing clients in the United States and Europe in response to civil and criminal antitrust probes and class action litigations in the automotive, shipping, financial, rail and natural gas industries, among others.
  • Representing clients in a number of US Supreme Court proceedings, including matters involving the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, defense against alleged violations of federal antitrust laws, and class arbitration under the Federal Arbitration Act.

Publications & News

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December 6, 2016

The Legal 500 Germany Recognizes WilmerHale Lawyers and Practices in 2017 Edition

The Legal 500 has released its 2017 edition of The Legal 500 Deutschland, Germany's guide to outstanding lawyers, recognizing WilmerHale in five categories.

November 22, 2016

Brexit: Implications for State Aid/Control of Subsidies

A future Brexit is likely to have significant potential impact on the monitoring and control of subsidies or other forms of aid granted by the UK and/or the remaining EU-27 to individual companies or entire sectors of industry, or to promote specific policies.

November 15, 2016

Developments in Merger Control: It Ain't Over 'til It's Over

This article by Jim Lowe, Lee Greenfield and Hartmut Schneider, published as a WilmerHale client alert and republished by Law360, discusses two recent enforcement actions that serve as reminders that there are antitrust risks to be addressed after a deal is signed and even after it has closed.

November 7, 2016

FTC/DOJ Guidance to Human Resource Professionals—Enforcement Scrutiny of Employment-Related Conduct

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice issued their Antitrust Guidance for Human Resource Professionals. This WilmerHale Client Alert, which was also published by Bloomberg BNA's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report on November 25, 2016, summarizes the key lessons and practical impact from the HR Guidance for businesses' employment practices.

November 3, 2016

Third Circ. Weighs In On Product-Hopping

An article by Mark Ford, Peter Spaeth and Benjamin Ernst, published by Law360, discusses the Third Circuit weighing in on product-hopping in relation to the Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Warner Chilcott Public Limited Co. affirmation among others.

October 27, 2016

Energy Sector Alert Series: Antitrust and Acquisition of Partial Ownership Interests—What Energy Companies Should Know

Antitrust enforcers are increasingly scrutinizing transactions that result in partial ownership in competitors. This interest in partial acquisitions is particularly relevant in the energy sector, where the costs for developing large energy projects are high, and partial ownership can be used to spread risk and limit exposure.

October 19, 2016

Department of Justice Obtains Guilty Plea for Obstruction in Merger Investigation

On October 14, the US Department of Justice's Antitrust Division announced that Ralph Groen, a former information technology executive of the bus operator Coach USA Inc., had pleaded guilty to criminally obstructing justice during a civil antitrust investigation and litigation.

October 3, 2016

SEC Drops Centerpiece Of Case Against WilmerHale Clients

WilmerHale recently achieved a major victory after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dropped the centerpiece of its lawsuit against two former mortgage executives.

September 29, 2016

Doryx: Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Product Hopping Claim

On September 28, 2016, in Mylan Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Warner Chilcott Public Limited Co. (Doryx), the Third Circuit affirmed the lower court's grant of summary judgment against antitrust claims by generic manufacturer Mylan regarding branded manufacturer Warner Chilcott's alleged “product hopping” activity with respect to its drug Doryx (delayed-release doxycycline hyclate).

September 16, 2016

WilmerHale Named Industry's Most Impressive Investigations Practice by GIR

WilmerHale has been named the Most Impressive Investigations Practice of the Year by Global Investigations Review for its cross-border work in both high-profile internal and government-led investigations.

Recognition

WilmerHale's Antitrust and Competition Practice has received significant recognition around the globe.

  • Global Competition Review (GCR) ranked WilmerHale among its list of "Top 20 GCR Global Elite" firms for 2015. In addition, the firm was recognized in the 2015 edition of GCR 100,  with "elite" first tier rankings in the Massachusetts and US Government Antitrust categories, and "highly recommended" rankings in the Brussels and Germany categories. In 2014, the practice was recognized by GCR and announced as winner of the "Litigation of the Year Award" and Partner Heather Tewksbury was named USA Litigator of the Week.
  • Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers for Business recognized our antitrust practice in Belgium, the United States and globally in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In addition, Steven CherryChristian Duvernoy, Claus-Dieter Ehlermann, Frédéric Louis, Thomas MuellerJohn Ratliff and Heather Tewksbury received individual honors for their work in the field.
  • Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers in Business consistently ranks our Antitrust and Cartel Enforcement practices in Massachusetts, Washington DC and nationally. In recent publications, clients have praised the practice's "solid and strategic" work and "responsive, wise and creative" approach, and placed us "at the very top for US law firms in cartel work." Molly Boast, James Burling, Steve Cherry, Mark FordLeon Greenfield, James Lowe, Michelle Miller, Thomas Mueller and Heather Tewksbury have been recognized individually for their work in recent editions.
  • Chambers Europe has recognized our practice as a "well-established practice [that] handles top-end work," including "cartel and private damages litigation, merger control and Article 102 investigations."
  • China Business Law Journal ranks the top law firms in numerous practices and in 2014 ranked WilmerHale under the Competition & Antitrust category. In Beijing, we are recognized specifically for our work advising healthcare providers and payers on the full spectrum of antitrust jurisdictions where they do business.
  • Handelsblatt Best Lawyers named several WilmerHale lawyers from the Berlin and Frankfurt offices as "Best Lawyers" in Germany in the 2013-2016 editions.
  • The Daily Journal selected Partner Heather Tewksbury to its 2014 list of California's "Top Women Lawyers," an annual list compiled to honor and profile exceptional women lawyers who are industry leaders.
  • U.S. News and Best Lawyers has included our antitrust and competition practice in the first tier nationally and regionally in Boston and Washington DC, and in the second tier in New York City, on its 2014-2017 "Best Law Firms" lists. Clients have praised our lawyers as "top notch," "very thorough" and "always thinking one step ahead."
  • The annual edition of the Washington DC Super Lawyers magazine, published by The Washington Post Magazine, released its 2014 listing which includes five of our antitrust attorneys.
  • In the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in AmericaJames Burling, James Lowe, Michelle Miller and Thomas Mueller were recognized for their work in the antitrust field. 
  • WilmerHale's German team is consistently ranked among the Top 50 law firms in Berlin and Frankfurt by JUVE Handbook, including the latest 2016/2017 edition
  • In 2014, the Legal 500 launched its new edition of Legal 500 Deutschland, Germany's guide to outstanding lawyers, and recognized WilmerHale in seven categories. In The Legal 500 United States 2013 the firm's antitrust practice was recognized. Clients cited us as a "top-notch" team that is "excellent at driving clients' desired outcomes." Further, the guide individually recommends Thomas Mueller and "outstanding adviser" Michelle Miller.
  • In 2013, our group was recognized by Acquisition International as "Antitrust Litigation Law Firm of the Year" in California and "Antitrust Litigation Legal Practice of the Year" in Washington DC.
  • In 2012, Practical Law Company (PLC) ranked WilmerHale as a leading law firm in the area of antitrust and competition in Boston, and recommended the firm nationally and in Washington DC. Internationally, the firm was recommended in Belgium and Germany. In addition, 13 WilmerHale partners were selected as "Leading Lawyers."
  • In 2012, WilmerHale was also recognized in PLC's Competition Super League, a directory highlighting "the best global competition teams from around the world."
  • WilmerHale is a multi-year recipient of the Law360 "Competition Groups of the Year." In 2011, the practice was noted for "steering controversial transactions through merger reviews" and "recording big wins for major corporations in civil antitrust suits."