Friday, Eldredge & Clark can advise you and your organization on the antitrust implications of all aspects of your business decisions involving acquisitions, contracts and sales agreements, distribution arrangements, marketing strategies, and pricing. We will work with you from the planning stage forward for any transaction or strategic initiative to help you anticipate and avoid antitrust problems. When antitrust controversies do arise, we are fully capable of dealing with administrative inquiries and hearings before federal and state antitrust enforcement agencies (including the Federal Trade Commission), and with litigation in state and federal court if necessary.
The foundation of our antitrust counsel is a thorough understanding of your business operations—your markets, competitors, distribution and sales channels, profit margins, and pricing strategies. We understand the competition law complexities that are unique to specific business sectors such as health care (where we represent nearly 20 Arkansas hospitals and health systems). All our antitrust advice reflects a full knowledge of federal and state law, and a full understanding of your business goals. If there are compliance problems with your competitive strategies, we’ll help you solve them. If you are already fully compliant, we’ll encourage your good faith efforts and vigorously defend you against complaints from competitors or regulators.
We have the resources to litigate any antitrust matter — whether the forum is a courtroom or a government agency hearing, whether the dispute involves defending you against alleged anticompetitive conduct or asserting your rights against the unfair conduct of others. Our record in antitrust litigation is impressive for its scope and its effectiveness, as we successfully:
- Defended to conclusion and on appeal, a manufacturer of stern-drive boat motors in one of the largest antitrust cases ever litigated involving allegations of a trade association [Concord Boat Corp. v. Brunswick Corp., 207 F. 3d 1039 (8th Cir. 2000)]
- Defended a large national retailer in a complex antitrust case, resulting in the voluntary dismissal of the case by the plaintiff during trial [Razorback Shooting Supplies, Inc. v. J.C. Penney Co.].
- Represented one of the world’s leading transportation and delivery companies in the defense of a multi-million dollar antitrust case in the United States District Court, resulting in a verdict in favor of our client on a counterclaim. [Airways v. Federal Express].
- Defended a large agricultural cooperative in an antitrust case in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas; the trial ended with the plaintiff’s voluntary dismissal of its claim against our client [VPG (Ferti-Lome) v. Southern Farmers Association].
- Represented one of the largest health care systems in Arkansas in a health care antitrust case brought by a large national healthcare provider, resulting in judgment as a matter of law for our client [Humana Hospitals v. Baptist Medical Systems].
- Represented a large cooperative by negotiating over several years favorable rates for simulcast horse racing and dog racing signals, as well as advising the cooperative on an ongoing basis regarding many antitrust issues.
Healthcare professionals face major challenges in properly structuring and carrying out the business combinations that are essential for competing effectively in today’s healthcare market. Hospitals and hospital systems throughout Arkansas rely on our excellent working relationships with state regulatory authorities and the Federal Trade Commission to secure approval for mergers and acquisitions. We understand all the applicable competition law standards and work to ensure that your hospital or medical center is properly positioned to avoid investigation or litigation of antitrust claims over the delivery of health care services.
When antitrust concerns arise in the course of a merger, acquisition, divestiture, or joint venture, we are adept at guiding clients through the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) review process at the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice. We will work with your company to develop an approval strategy. When necessary, we manage regulators’ second information requests efficiently and effectively and secure an appropriate consent decree.