Antitrust/Competition

About

White & Case has one of the most globally recognized track records in antitrust law⁠—having handled many precedent-setting, industry-transforming competition matters of recent times.

One of the few antitrust teams situated across five continents with more than 315 lawyers in 28 offices and 19 countries, we bring an innovative and unified solution to the full range of competition issues in virtually all jurisdictions, focusing on merger clearance, cartel investigations, monopolization, class action defense, pharmaceutical antitrust litigation, state aid awards, foreign direct investment and compliance.

Clients choose us for:

  • Cross-border mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, licensing and distribution arrangements, and criminal investigations
  • Trials/Litigation against governmental authorities and private parties
  • Global cartel investigations, including parallel civil Sherman Act class actions, European Union proceedings, extradition and extraterritorial discovery
  • Counseling on delicate and strategic questions

Fact-intensive, bold and creative strategies are the core of our approach. We have a reputation for helping clients realize their business goals through:

  • Challenging the legal status quo and advancing due process
  • Developing many innovative "firsts" in antitrust, precedents that our team has conceived of, implemented and won
  • Removing deal uncertainty
  • Averaging one trial every year in the United States⁠—more than any other antitrust practice
  • Becoming a leader in monopolization and abuse-of-dominance defense

We know how important it is to truly understand our clients' needs and how they operate. That's why we have spent years developing our expertise in numerous and varied industries so that we are familiar with our clients' company cultures and can effectively communicate and work as a unified team. Our signature strengths include pharmaceuticals & healthcare, technology, financial institutions, energy and private equity.

Our team includes some of the most highly regarded lawyers in the field, including former senior officials from the US Department of Justice (DOJ), the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition and the Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC).

We regularly engage with the world's most influential antitrust authorities through the multijurisdictional lawyers in our New York, Washington, DC, Tokyo, London, Brussels, Düsseldorf, Paris and Milan offices. With established teams in Beijing, Berlin, Bratislava, Cairo, Dubai, Frankfurt, Geneva, Hamburg, Istanbul, Mexico City, Moscow, Prague, Riyadh, Shanghai, Sydney and Warsaw, we offer clients international reach, depth of local resources and seamless integration across offices.

 

View more information on Merger control

View more information on Cartel investigations

View more information on Antitrust litigation & class actions

View more information on Pharmaceutical antitrust litigation

View more information on Due process

View more information on European state aid

View more information on Competition compliance

 

Regional spotlights

South America and Asia-Pacific: Overview of antitrust and merger regimes

Click here to view our Interactive guides to competition law enforcement and merger control activity in the Southeast Asia and Pacific region.

 

Middle East: White & Case capabilities

In the Middle East, we are the only firm to offer the strategic depth of a global practice combined with the local expertise of our lawyers throughout the region to deliver effective solutions and create innovative precedents. Click here to learn more about our Middle East capabilities.

 

View all lawyers in Antitrust/Competition

 

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

Only team to win "Competition Group of the Year" 7 times
Law360

Top 5 in the "Global Elite"
GCR 100 2021

Top 6
Cross-Border Antitrust
Chambers Global 2021

Band 1
Antitrust: Cartels
Chambers USA 2021

Tier 1
Antitrust: Cartels
The Legal 500 US 2021

Tier 1
Antitrust & Competition International Firms and Joint Ventures (Japan)
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021

"The global Antitrust team at White & Case is second to none. They are a true one-stop shop, where the firm's offices work as one team trying to solve their clients' business needs."
The Legal 500 US 2021

"It has wide experience, deep bench strength and is able to expertly navigate the hurdles that foreign jurisdictions provide. Its ability to cover a vast geography ensures its clients receive Rolls-Royce service internationally."
Chambers USA 2021

"If you want fighters, White & Case is the firm to go to."
Global Competition Review 2019

Experience

Merger control

Largest petrochemical merger in world history
Saudi Aramco, the world's largest oil producer, in its successful US$70 billion acquisition of SABIC. White & Case secured unconditional merger approvals for the deal in 25 jurisdictions, including the EU, China, India and Brazil.

Facebook's largest single investment
Facebook's US$5.7 billion investment into a leading Indian ecommerce platform, Jio. The largest foreign direct investment into India's technology industry to date, as well as the largest investment worldwide for a minority stake by a technology company.

First 4-to-3 mobile phone merger in Europe to be unconditionally approved
Deutsche Telekom on its merger in the Dutch mobile telecoms sector between Tele2Netherlands (Tele2 NL) and T-Mobile Netherlands, approved unconditionally after a Phase II investigation by the European Commission.

 

Cartel investigations

Biggest DOJ antitrust jury trial defeat of the past ten years
Trial counsel to lead Forex trader for JPMorgan Chase and Royal Bank of Scotland, Richard Usher, in landmark Antitrust Division Section 1 price-fixing Sherman Act trial.

Nine cartel trials, nine wins
White & Case has taken nine cartel cases to trial. We won every one.

Seven-year six-continent US DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury investigation
France-based Nexans SA, the second-largest global copper and optical fiber cable products manufacturer for infrastructure, industrial and construction projects, throughout the globe including investigations in the EC, US and Australia. The DOJ Antitrust Division grand jury investigation closed with no action taken against Nexans, despite the cooperation of other parties and parallel investigations on six continents.

 

Antitrust litigation & class actions

Leading case for the proposition that non-trivial number of uninjured class members bars class certification
Won reversal of class certification by the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in an antitrust monopolization case where plaintiffs challenged the development of a new phthalate-free version of its ulcerative colitis drug, Asacol®. The case turned on the inability of class action plaintiffs to discern which members of a class action were uninjured. The landmark ruling, premised on the Seventh Amendment, precludes the previously widespread use of post-trial affidavits in class actions as a substitute for fact-finding by juries. The Asacol ruling is widely cited as the gold standard on class certification and has broad implications far beyond its antitrust context.

Largest antitrust class action jury trial of 2013
Trial counsel to Toshiba in its complete victory in a 2013 US civil jury trial concerning price-fixing allegations in the liquid crystal display (LCD) market (N.D. Cal.). At trial, Toshiba faced price-fixing claims totaling US$2.3 billion brought by a large retailer plaintiff that previously had opted out of class proceedings against Toshiba and other LCD manufacturers. Following a six-week jury trial, the San Francisco jury unanimously returned a defense verdict for Toshiba in September 2013, finding that Toshiba did not participate in an LCD price-fixing conspiracy and therefore did not cause any damages to the plaintiff.

Largest antitrust class action jury trial of 2012
Trial counsel to Toshiba in its 2012 direct purchaser (DPP) class-action jury trial, in which the class plaintiffs alleged cartel activity in the thin-film transistor liquid crystal display (LCD) market. Toshiba stood alone in taking the DPP civil class-action case to trial; all other defendants had settled for a total of approximately US$450 million. The jury awarded the class plaintiffs no recoverable damages against the nearly US$2.7 billion in damages the class plaintiffs had sought based on charges of price fixing.

 

Pharmaceutical antitrust litigation

First summary judgment in a "product hopping" case
Dismissal of all claims in precedent-setting summary judgment regarding pharmaceutical "product hopping" claims in the US.

First Article 102 decision overturned since the 1970s
Servier, a French pharmaceutical company, in its challenge of a European Commission decision on patent settlement agreements in pharmaceutical markets. The EU General Court partially annulled the decision, notably overturning all findings of abuse of dominance under Article 102 TFEU, the first time that a Commission decision on this issue has been fully overturned since the 1970s, and reducing the fine by more than €100 million.

Rare excessive pricing case in the UK
Co-counsel in Pfizer's appeal of the UK Competition and Markets Authority's decision on excessive pricing before the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal. The UK CAT annulled the Decision on June 7, 2018 and reverted the case back to the CMA, which appealed to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the CAT's quashing of the CMA decision in March 2020.

"Reverse payment" wins
Pfizer, Inc. in multiple class-action antitrust litigations challenging alleged "reverse payment" patent settlements and/or conduct in procuring patents in connection with the blockbuster products Lipitor, Effexor XR, Celebrex and Epi-Pen.

Allergan in multiple class-action antitrust litigations challenging alleged "reverse payment" patent settlements, product hopping and/or conduct in procuring patents, in connection with such leading products as Asacol, Loestrin, Namenda and Doryx.

 

Due process

Protecting constitutional rights in government amnesty agreements and first US federal court dismissal of a criminal cartel indictment
When the US Department of Justice Antitrust Division abruptly and unilaterally terminated an amnesty agreement with Stolt-Nielsen S.A. (the world's largest chemical tanker operator), White & Case defended Stolt against the resulting criminal antitrust indictment by bringing the fight back to the government. Arguing that the government violated Stolt's due process rights, White & Case convinced a federal court to dismiss the indictment in this landmark case, setting the precedent for defendants' rights in criminal amnesty agreements.

Protecting due process in dawn raids
On behalf of Nexans—and in an unprecedented move, never before attempted—White & Case challenged the European Commission's 2009 dawn raid on Nexans as a violation of Nexan's fundamental rights. Siding with White & Case, the General Court partially annulled the Commission's dawn raid decision—making history.

Protecting the right to confrontation in class actions
The First Circuit's groundbreaking ruling for Allergan/Warner Chilcott in the Asacol Antitrust Litigation advanced the protection of a defendant's constitutional rights in class actions, and has been relied on as precedent in the First Circuit and beyond to reject class certification where those rights are at stake.

 

European state aid

A number of Romanian investors who succeeded in obtaining an award of damages of €82 million against Romania for a breach of a Bilateral Investment Treaty, but faced a European Commission decision that the payment of such damages constitutes illegal state aid that must be repaid. The EU General Court annulled the decision in full in June 2019.

Electricité de France (EDF) in a case before the European Courts relating to the Commission's preliminary assessment that investments made by EDF prior to market liberalization in Poland and its accession to the EU constituted illegal state aid.

 

Competition compliance

Advising the European operations of a world-leading manufacturer of material handling equipment in relation to the distribution of its products via sales subsidiaries and independent distributors.

Major bottling company in developing a compliance program including carrying out mock dawn raids and follow-up antitrust due diligence.