Keller and Heckman antitrust practice combines our legal skill our knowledge of a wide array of industry sectors ranging from food, chemicals and plastics to telecommunications and transportation. This marriage of legal and industry understanding allows us to meet the specific needs of our clients and provide practical, cost-effective, legally sound advice and representation. We offer the expertise of experienced attorneys who served in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ) and recognized litigators.
One hallmark of our approach is to evaluate quickly the comprehensive market implications of various activities, ranging from raw materials manufacturing, to distribution, retail market effects and ultimate consumer choice and welfare consequences. Our antitrust practice helps clients to design and implement antitrust compliance programs and provides experienced, expert representation before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Justice Department, as well as trial and appellate courts and state enforcement officials.
Keller and Heckman attorneys advise its corporate and trade association clients on issues under the Sherman, Clayton, Federal Trade Commission, and Robinson-Patman Acts, as well as state antitrust statutes. Our advice covers a wide range of subjects, including relations with competitors; distribution arrangements with wholesalers, dealers, and retail customers; pricing practices, including permissible price discussions and price discrimination issues; unfair practices, including misuse of advertising; exclusive dealing arrangements; and mergers and acquisitions. Our guidance also includes providing written and oral opinions and, when appropriate, seeking formal advisory opinions or business review letters.
Antitrust Litigation and Other Proceedings
The firm's antitrust litigation practice includes representing clients at the initial investigatory or "preliminary inquiry" stage by the federal government, our goal being to convince the government to discontinue the investigation or proceeding without further cost to the client in time or money. We also respond to civil investigative demands and grand jury subpoenas, and represent clients in grand jury proceedings, agency adjudications, alternative dispute proceedings, and trial and appellate courts. This includes premerger notification proceedings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act and implementing regulations.
Trade and Professional Associations
Because they are groups of competitors acting collectively, trade and professional association activities commonly raise antitrust concerns that need careful management and oversight. Our antitrust practice is well situated to address trade and professional association antitrust concerns, such as association membership criteria, statistical programs, certification programs, and joint research activities.
Mergers, Acquisitions & Joint Ventures
Our transactional experience ranges from simple consultations on Hart Scott Rodino matters to negotiations with government officials. In many instances, our familiarity with how various industry sectors operate and the relationship between governmental regulations and market dynamics enables us to develop optimal solutions and strategies with our clients. In addition to assisting companies directly involved in a transaction, we have also provided guidance to competitors trying to assess the competitive effects of proposed mergers.
Antitrust Compliance Programs
The seeming complexity of the antitrust laws, coupled with the drastic civil and criminal penalties that can be imposed under those laws, makes it imperative that companies and trade associations institute antitrust compliance programs. Keller and Heckman attorneys assist both large and small clients in designing such programs and tailoring them to clients’ individual needs. Generally, such programs consist of conducting an antitrust “audit” of the client's operations, interviewing key personnel of the client, and preparing a written document setting forth policies and practices to ensure antitrust compliance. The compliance program is usually reinforced by periodic seminars and other written and oral presentations suggesting specific policies and practices. Such programs should be reviewed annually and updated or revised as needed.
For more information on Keller and Heckman’s Antitrust capabilities, please visit our website at saalts.com.