2016 Highlights: Antitrust, Regulatory & Compliance

Antitrust, Regulatory & Compliance

In 2016, WSGR continued to earn favorable outcomes and resolutions in antitrust, regulatory, and compliance matters for well-known, industry-leading clients. Understandably, many of our most significant representations involved details and factors that we are unable to share due to ongoing discussions and sensitivities. Nevertheless, we have selected a sampling of notable matters that demonstrate the firm’s established strengths in representing clients in antitrust/competition matters, as well as our work for clients in key regulatory and compliance areas.

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Chinese Companies Hebei Welcome and NCPG Prevail in Closely Watched Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation

On September 20, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit issued its decision in a closely watched dispute that may be the largest-ever antitrust case involving Chinese companies. In In re Vitamin C Antitrust Litigation, the plaintiffs alleged that two Chinese companies, Hebei Welcome Pharmaceutical Co. and North China Pharmaceutical Group (NCPG), along with several alleged co-conspirators, had engaged in price fixing in violation of U.S. antitrust laws in connection with vitamin C exported from China. WSGR represented Hebei Welcome and NCPG before the Second Circuit. For more information, click here.

WSGR Advises Icontrol Networks on its acquisition by Alarm.com

The transaction attracted significant scrutiny as it combined the leading supplier of connected home software to independent dealers with a well-positioned potential entrant in that space. The Federal Trade Commission issued the parties a Second Request, but ultimately cleared the transaction.

Firm Represents Cvent in its successful $1.65 billion acquisition by Vista Equity Partners

The transaction combined the two leading suppliers of Event Management and Strategic Meetings Management software under Vista ownership. The U.S. Department of Justice issued the parties a Second Request, but ultimately cleared the transaction.

WSGR Advises Coherent in its $942 MILLION acquisition of ROFIN-SINAR Technologies

The transaction combined two of the leading manufacturers of lasers for laser-based industrial material processing applications. WSGR successfully secured clearance in the U.S. without the need for a Second Request, and currently is involved in an in-depth Phase I investigation in Europe.

U.S. AND BRUSSELS ATTORNEYS ADVISE FEI ON ITS $4.2 BILLION ACQUISITION BY THERMO FISHER SCIENTIFIC

WSGR attorneys in Washington, D.C., and Brussels prepared and coordinated the submission of merger clearance applications in 10 jurisdictions, including the U.S., Germany, Austria, China, Japan, and South Korea. The merger was unconditionally cleared in all 10 jurisdictions.

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Live Nation in Antitrust Case

Fourth Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Live Nation in Antitrust Case

In an important decision released on February 4, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit affirmed summary judgment for WSGR client Live Nation in a case brought by a rival concert promoter and venue operator. The case is It’s My Party, Inc. v. Live Nation, No. 15-1278 (4th Cir.).

The plaintiffs are owned by Seth Hurwitz, a significant concert promoter in the Washington, D.C./Baltimore area, and the operator of D.C.’s 9:30 Club and Baltimore’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. They claimed that Live Nation was improperly requiring artists to perform at Live Nation’s Jiffy Lube Live amphitheater near Washington (formerly Nissan Pavilion) if the artist wanted Live Nation to promote them in other locations. Both the district court and the court of appeals agreed that there was no such evidence, and that the challenged conduct was nothing more than good-faith competition and negotiation. The plaintiffs also challenged the fact that Live Nation is a large promoter, operates numerous venues, and owns the leading ticketing company, Ticketmaster; they argued that this gave Live Nation an unfair advantage. The court forcefully rejected these arguments, concluding that consumers benefit when the whole “becomes greater than the sum of its parts as Live Nation is able to offer advantages only made possible by selling distinct but complementary products together.” Click here for more information.

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WSGR Honored as a Law360 “Competition Group of the Year”

On January 26, 2017, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was featured among the top competition practices in the nation as part of Law360’s annual “Practice Groups of the Year“ series. According to Law360, WSGR was chosen for “obtaining key wins in antitrust litigation,” including an international comity case before the Second Circuit, and seeing major mergers to completion, including Altera’s $16.7 billion purchase by Intel. Click here to read the complete Law360 profile of the firm’s competition practice.

Firm Named Among Global Competition Review’s “Global Elite”


Global Competition Review recently released the 2017 edition of the GCR 100, a comprehensive listing of the world’s top antitrust and competition practices. Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati was ranked No. 10 among the "global elite" law firms and is noted for growing “its reputation as a powerful antitrust shop in both the U.S. and Europe in the past year, and perhaps is the best firm anywhere for advising clients saddled with issues at the intersections of antitrust and dynamic, high-tech industries.” In addition, the firm is recognized as an outstanding firm in the Washington, D.C., category and is mentioned as a highly recommended firm in the Brussels and New York categories. (Global Competition Review, January 2017)

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Firm Recognized in GCR’s Annual Review of New York and Brussels Competition Bars


WSGR was recognized as a Highly Recommended firm in a review of New York’s antitrust bar by Global Competition Review. "The antitrust practice in Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s New York office is small but highly esteemed," said the publication, which also noted the firm’s work for Hebei and North China Pharmaceutical, Live Nation, Netflix, and Mylan. (Global Competition Review, April 2016)

In addition, WSGR was recognized as a Highly Recommended firm in GCR’s review of the Brussels competition bar. The article notes the firm’s expert work on merger control matters for Mylan, as well as its work for ÖBB and subsidiary Rail Cargo Austria during the DG Comp rail cargo investigation. (Global Competition Review, March 2016)

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Thought Leadership

WSGR Publishes 2016 Antitrust Year in Review


Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati recently issued its 2016 Antitrust Year in Review, which examines the most significant antitrust matters and developments of the past year. Among other topics, the report discusses merger enforcement trends in the United States, Europe, and China; agency investigations in both the U.S. and abroad; the Department of Justice's criminal antitrust enforcement program; and civil antitrust litigation activity.

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