Antitrust and Trade Regulation
Antitrust. Companies in every industry are expanding through acquisitions, mergers, and joint ventures. While often paving the way to higher profits through increased scale, these transactions can sometimes expose the participants to expensive, time-consuming antitrust litigation. The Scopelitis firm has experience helping motor carriers, e-commerce ventures, and other enterprises design and negotiate transactions so as to minimize antitrust risks. We also represent companies and trade associations in countering claims of price fixing, group boycotts, agreements not to compete, and other antitrust violations and assist clients in challenging other corporations' questionable conduct.
Matters in which Scopelitis attorneys have been involved include the following:
- Antitrust investigations of mergers and acquisitions, including Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification requirements
- Government challenges to competing companies' standard-setting activities
- Litigation against transportation-carrier pooling agreements (joint ventures among competing carriers)
- Conducting compliance checks and providing antitrust training to executives, sales staffs, and others
- Formation of B2B online joint-selling and joint-purchasing ventures
- Counseling companies on sharing of competitively-sensitive information
- Obtaining business review letters from the U.S. Department of Justice providing an advance green-light to companies' cutting-edge activities
- Preparing strategies to challenge independent contractors' plans to "go on strike" and unions' illegal "work acquisition" campaigns
Our lawyers know the staff and enforcement processes at both the Federal Trade Commission and the Justice Department and can help clients navigate these agencies' antitrust procedures. We also have experience presenting competition-policy arguments on behalf of corporate clients in federal regulatory proceedings.
Transportation Aspects of Industrial Mergers and Acquisitions. Many manufacturers, distributors, and retail chains operate fleets of commercial trucks. When such companies negotiate mergers and acquisitions, questions relating to those fleets may arise. These include placing a value on the companies' transportation operations, assessing a trucking fleet's vehicle and driver safety performance and other acquisition risks, identifying potential cost savings (including state and federal permits and fees) in combining the two merger partners' truck fleets or in converting one or both fleets into for-hire motor carriers, and conducting due diligence inquiries. Scopelitis attorneys have extensive experience with the regulatory and tax aspects of transportation operations, as well as with providing both business-related and legal advice on transportation mergers and acquisition.
Advertising and Marketing. Scopelitis lawyers have advised companies on advertising and marketing legal requirements under the Federal Trade Commission Act, enforced by the government, and the Lanham Act, under which companies can bring suit against each other. These laws regulate, among other things, false and deceptive advertising representations, including a failure to substantiate claims on the Internet, and comparative price and quality advertising.