Mergers, joint ventures and strategic alliances have become increasingly important for companies that want to retain their market leadership position and remain competitive in a global economy. Simultaneously, regulatory and enforcement agencies worldwide have increased their scrutiny of all competition practices-from distribution networks to mergers of equals. To ensure they achieve their objectives, clients turn to King & Spalding to minimize antitrust risks and successfully resolve antitrust concerns.
King & Spalding’s antitrust lawyers provide customized and solution-oriented advice, enabling clients to structure transactions that achieve desired goals while minimizing antitrust risks. Recognized by Chambers USA as "a sharp, practical, business-oriented group" who provide "a great mix of theory and practicality," our antitrust lawyers also have been singled out by The American Lawyer and The Best Lawyers in America, among others, for the consistently comprehensive antitrust counsel we provide our clients. King & Spalding consistently ranks among the top 25 mergers and acquisitions practices in the nation, according to several publishers of M&A league tables.
We assist in structuring a transaction that achieves a client’s desired goals while minimizing antitrust risks. Our antitrust lawyers are skilled at planning and implementing strategies to gain U.S. and international approval of transactions, including complex, large-scale mergers in concentrated industries. We also advise clients on collaborations with competitors and customers to ensure that these joint ventures and strategic alliances are structured and operated lawfully under the antitrust laws in the U.S. and Europe.
King & Spalding lawyers also have substantial experience coordinating efforts to gain approval of transactions from the EU and other European and non-U.S. antitrust authorities, including guiding clients through Phase II merger investigations, responding to Article 11 letters and guiding clients on issues of jurisdiction and disclosure of information from abroad.
Firsthand Agency Knowledge
We pride ourselves on our reputation among all key competition authorities, including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, state attorney general and the European Commission. We believe that this reputation, combined with our creative thinking, allows us to achieve favorable results for our clients contemplating high-risk transactions. For example, we were recently able to avoid a lengthy Second Request investigation of a transaction in a seemingly concentrated industry by proactively approaching the government prior to the HSR filing and demonstrating that entry was likely to occur.
Skilled Business Partners
Our antitrust lawyers' expertise lies in assisting clients and their boards in the evaluation of the antitrust risks arising from a contemplated transaction and in proactively obtaining antitrust approvals that enable our clients to maximize a transaction's value. Specific examples of this experience include:
- Helping strategic buyers evaluate antitrust risk so they can compete on an even playing field with nonstrategic buyers
- Helping potential sellers realize the maximum value for their companies by assigning appropriate discounts to strategic bidders that present antitrust risk
- Advising parties on antitrust risk provisions and break fees in purchase agreements to better protect their interests
- Counseling clients on due diligence, integration planning and "gun-jumping" issues so that the parties can realize the value of the transaction immediately upon closing while minimizing antitrust risk
- Navigating the premerger notification requirements of U.S. and foreign competition authorities, responding to Second Requests and other merger reviews by federal and state agencies, and coordinating efforts to gain approval from European and other non-U.S. competition authorities
- Assisting clients who want to provide input to competition agencies regarding other parties' transactions, and convincing agencies to take actions against these transactions.
Partnership Is Key
A hallmark of our antitrust service is our dedication to partnering on all levels, both within the firm and with in-house counsel. In addition to working closely with in-house counsel, our antitrust lawyers collaborate with our own nationally recognized corporate practice group, leveraging the group's comprehensive understanding of the products and markets involved. The results are a deeper and more intuitive understanding of each client's business and legal needs and, ultimately, solutions that are cost-effective and efficient.