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Team Resolves FTC Matter, Enables Fortune 50 Merger

Key Facts

  • Congressional hearings
  • A joint FTC Bureau of Competition and Bureau of Consumer Protection investigation
  • Three civil investigative demands and two dozen investigatory hearings

The Situation

A Fortune 50 corporation was investigated for potential violations of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, covering both antitrust and consumer protection issues. The investigation arose after a trade association and labor group unleashed an intense campaign against the corporation following its successful completion of a merger. The campaign resulted in Congressional hearings and dozens of letters from Congressmen to the FTC. The FTC opened a broad investigation, jointly led by its Bureau of Competition and the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

The Approach

We recognized from the outset that with the politics involved in this matter, the FTC would be unlikely to close the investigation without taking some action. We worked with the client to develop a strategy to minimize the damage to the client and preserve the merger, while simultaneously addressing the agency’s concerns. The investigation ultimately included three civil investigative demands, two dozen investigatory hearings (depositions), the retention of economists and other vendors, and many agency meetings, presentations, and negotiations.

The Outcome

The matter was resolved. The merger was preserved. And none of our client’s actions was challenged, despite the myriad allegations.

Supporting Professionals

Bruce Sokler, head of the firm’s Antitrust Practice, worked with Rob Kidwell and Farrah Short to successfully navigate the politics, defend our client, and resolve this matter.