A&O Shearman’s global antitrust team is a powerhouse that advises corporates, private equity and financial institutions on their most significant transactions, investigations, and litigation. 

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The breadth and scale of our U.S., U.K., and EU practice together with our global network and industry knowledge means we are uniquely placed to advise on complex multijurisdictional matters involving parallel proceedings and inter-agency co-operation.  

Extensive experience in FDI screening and merger control 

As one of the premier competition practices in the world we handle the full spectrum of antitrust issues including merger control; cartel and behavioural investigations; dominance and monopolizations; compliance and counselling; and vertical and horizontal agreements. 

We have extensive experience in successfully guiding high-profile transactions through national public interest reviews and managing the interplay between foreign direct investment/national interest screening and merger control regimes. 

We also advise on market investigations and sector-specific regulatory issues; public procurement and competitive tendering; state aid and U.K. subsidy control; and litigation, including antitrust class action lawsuits and complex litigation at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property law.  

Critical enforcer experience and insight 

Our team includes former regulators who have held leadership positions in, and maintain long-standing relationships with, key enforcement authorities including the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.K. Competition and Markets Authority, the European Commission, and China’s MOFCOM. This gives us real insight into how agencies approach antitrust cases.  

Our team’s experience includes representing clients on some of the world’s most challenging, multijurisdictional antitrust cases that have broken new ground and set legal precedents.  

From litigating cartel cases all the way to the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to defending merger transactions in jurisdictions around the world, we have the technical skills, industry experience and agency relationships to help our clients achieve their business objectives and address their competition challenges. 

Representative matters

  • Scania on the trucks cartel investigation, the appeal of the related EC’s decision to the General Court and the subsequent appeal to the Court of Justice and on Scania’s defence strategy in follow-on private damages claims across the EEA and beyond. 
  • A multinational conglomerate in relation to multijurisdictional merger control and foreign direct investment reviews of the proposed transformational sale of its nuclear steam turbine business to a French energy utility company, Électricité de France (EDF). 
  • Korean Air in securing conditional merger control clearance from the European Commission on its historic aviation transaction with Asiana Airlines, which will bring together the two largest airlines in South Korea. 
  • Paramount Global on the USD1.62bn sale of Simon & Schuster to KKR and on its SkyShowtime OTT streaming joint venture with Comcast.  
  • NortonLifeLock on its USD8 billion acquisition of UK antivirus provider, Avast. We were brought in to manage the merger control processes in multiple jurisdictions directly and acted as co-counsel in the U.K. in relation to the CMA’s Phase 2 in-depth investigation. 
  • Recticel on the merger control aspects of the disposal of its engineered foams business to Carpenter Group. The transaction was referred by the CMA for a Phase 2 review on the basis of potential concerns in relation to three foam-related markets in the U.K. 
  • Chevron on numerous transactions, including the competition aspects of its USD53 billion acquisition of Hess; USD6.3bn acquisition of PDC Energy; USD3.15bn acquisition of Renewable Energy Group; USD5bn acquisition of Noble Energy; and on its USD33bn bid to acquire Anadarko Petroleum. 
  • Booz Allen Hamilton in successfully defending Booz Allen from a DOJ merger challenge, obtaining a favourable decision denying the DOJ’s preliminary-injunction request, which allowed the merger to close and ultimately led DOJ to drop the case.

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