Antitrust and trade regulation law, both domestic and foreign, inevitably affects franchise and distribution relationships. In some cases, companies accused of antitrust violations face significant financial exposure, should they be defeated in private litigation, and even the possibility of criminal investigations and penalties. Our lawyers understand the antitrust implications facing franchisors and distributors.
Our antitrust and trade regulation experience arises in substantial part from decades of hands-on experience. Our lawyers litigated various supplier-dealer disputes and provided advice encompassing all aspects of franchise and distribution arrangements including issues on intercompetitor collusion, resale price maintenance, cooperative advertising programs, exclusive dealing, territorial and customer restrictions, refusals to deal, pricing practices, rebate programs, volume discounts and other interdealer disparities, and wholesaler and broker relations. In addition to these, we also regularly represent franchisors and distributors as they navigate complex federal and state trade regulation statutes.
We regularly counsel clients on the antitrust aspects of product distribution, including establishing dual distribution channels, changing distribution networks, and navigating the nuances of Internet versus brick-and-mortar sales. We also advise clients on antitrust and trade regulation matters generally, including mergers and acquisitions, Hart-Scott-Rodino filings, and proceedings before the Federal Trade Commission and other government agencies.
In antitrust healthcare counseling, we advise clients on mergers, affiliations and acquisition plans, HMO and GPO pricing and contracting, joint ventures, joint purchasing arrangements, and medical staff proceedings involving antitrust issues. With mergers and affiliations, we have conducted and directed a wide variety of analyses of market definition and market concentration, including analyses of the effect on competitors and the viability of defenses.
Types of Services
Although effective pre-conduct counseling can help clients avoid litigation, distribution matters often end up under agency scrutiny or in court. Our lawyers’ experience will prove invaluable as our clients benefit from the insight gained from seeing how the courts apply antitrust concepts in real business situations.
Our lawyers regularly assist clients with:
- Counseling relationship management with dealers and franchisees in a manner that avoids antitrust challenges
- Prosecuting and defending antitrust claims arising in disputes between suppliers and dealers
- Structuring business transactions, joint ventures and alliances to avoid potential antitrust problems
- Developing and implementing antitrust compliance programs in a wide variety of industries
- Defending unfair competition claims