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Robert G. Kidwell

Member

[email protected]

+1.202.661.8752

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Rob’s Washington, DC-based competition and trade regulation practice involves counseling on the regulatory implications of business strategies, regulatory matters, policymaking, and litigation. He defends clients in complex litigation and in merger and regulatory reviews by the US Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the US, and the Federal Communications Commission. Rob’s clients include media and telecommunications companies, health systems and providers, national retailers, trade associations, and life sciences and technology companies.

Rob counsels a broad range of clients on business and investment strategy, M&A, litigation, and regulatory matters. He specializes in clearly explaining strategic risks and their relative values in order to help senior executives make informed decisions. Rob provides advice to clients from across the country and around the world, in high-profile matters including:

  • Strategic business planning and risk management 
  • Antitrust issues in mergers and acquisitions / second requests
  • Complex litigation (class action and otherwise)
  • Regulatory issues arising from foreign investments in U.S. businesses
  • Federal and state regulatory investigations
  • Policy advocacy and notice-and-comment rulemaking 
  • Appellate review of agency action
  • Trade association counseling
  • Privacy and data security
  • Unfair/deceptive conduct and false advertising

Rob represents clients in numerous markets, including:

  • Media content and distribution
  • Wireless communications
  • Health care providers and services
  • Life sciences
  • Technology
  • Retail & Consumer Products
  • Trade associations and non-profits

He has written and spoken widely on litigation risk management and cost containment, developments in the law, and on issues faced by businesses when they interact with federal and state enforcers and administrative agencies.

Rob is an active supporter of the firm’s pro bono program, providing representation to numerous indigent clients before the Social Security Administration and in local family and domestic relations courts. He has provided corporate and business planning advice to the National Network to End Domestic Violence and other non-profit clients. He is also an active supporter of the firm’s mentoring and sponsorship program.

Prior to his career in the law, Rob was an on-air radio personality and station production director in Lexington, KY.

Education

  • Georgetown University (JD)
  • University of Kentucky (BA)

Recognition & Awards

  • Washington DC Super Lawyers: Rising Star – Antitrust Litigation (2013 – 2014)
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers: Antitrust Litigation (2017 - 2019)

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

HSR Jurisdictional Thresholds Increased in Annual Adjustment

January 26, 2018 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 26, 2018, increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act). The FTC revises the thresholds annually based on changes in the gross national product.
Read more

Washington State AG Alleges Price Fixing and Sues to Break Up Rapidly Expanding Health System

September 11, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short, Shawn Skolky

After five years of growth through a series of acquisitions, the Washington State Attorney General’s office filed a lawsuit to thwart and unwind the most recent expansion efforts of Franciscan Health System (“CHI Franciscan”) for violating both federal and state antitrust laws.
Read more

Dayton Hospital Antitrust Case Comes to an End: Joint Venture Activities Not “Per Se” Unlawful

August 16, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

On the eve of trial, and after years of litigation (including an appeal to the Sixth Circuit), all claims by Dayton, Ohio hospital The Medical Center at Elizabeth Place against Premier Health Partners have been dismissed with prejudice.
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A New Jersey district court recently denied a motion to dismiss in an antitrust class action alleging that a physician association illegally tied board certification to association membership in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Talone, et. al. v. The American Osteopathic Association, Case No. 1:16-cv-04644 (D. N.J. Jun. 12, 2017).
Read more

Seventh Circuit OKs Exclusive Network Agreements Between “Must-Have” Hospital and Health Insurers

June 12, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Dionne Lomax, Farrah Short

In an opinion written by Judge Posner, the Seventh Circuit on Friday gave its stamp of approval to a “must-have” hospital’s bargaining to exclude competitors from certain narrow-network payor contracts in and around Peoria, Illinois.
Read more

Antitrust Suit Against Michigan Hospital Moves Forward As Both Sides Denied Summary Judgment

June 5, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Dionne Lomax, Farrah Short

A federal district court denied summary judgment motions brought by both sides in the government’s antitrust suit against a Michigan hospital alleging an agreement not to compete in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. U.S. v. Hillsdale Community Health Center, 5:15-cv-12311 (E.D. Mich. May 31, 2017).
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Even with a reduced lineup of only two commissioners — the Republican Acting Chair and one Democratic Commissioner — the Federal Trade Commission (the “FTC” or “Commission”) filed an administrative complaint this week against the Louisiana Real Estate Appraisers Board (the “Louisiana Board”) alleging that the Louisiana Board unreasonably restrains competition in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act by limiting the freedom of individual appraisers and their customers to engage in negotiations to set fees for real estate appraisals.
Read more

DOJ Anti-Steering Suit Against Carolinas Healthcare Survives Preliminary Motion

April 3, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Dionne Lomax, Farrah Short

On March 30, 2017, in a closely watched case, a federal district court denied the Motion for Judgment on the Pleadings filed by Carolinas Healthcare against the DOJ Antitrust Division and State of North Carolina’s Complaint alleging that Carolinas Healthcare insisted on contract provisions with payors that limited or prohibited steering to lower-cost providers. US v. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Hospital Authority, No. 3:16-cv-00311 (W.D. N.C., Mar. 30, 2017).
Read more

Antitrust Agencies Impose Three HSR Penalties Totaling $1.5 Million in Two Days

January 23, 2017 | Alert | By Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

The federal antitrust agencies have opened the New Year with vigorous enforcement of the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 (“HSR Act”) by imposing several fines totaling $1.5 million. On January 17, 2017, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) settled allegations in two separate matters.
Read more

FTC Announces Annual Revision to HSR Jurisdictional Thresholds

January 20, 2017 | Alert | By Bruce Sokler, Robert Kidwell, Farrah Short

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced on January 19, 2017 increased jurisdictional thresholds for premerger notification filings under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, as amended (the HSR Act).
Read more

News & Press

Though merger reviewers at the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) are back at work after the 30+ day government shutdown, antitrust experts note that backlog and the possibility of another shutdown are significantly impacting the certainty merging parties rely on. Mintz Member Rob Kidwell is among the industry sources quoted.

Did a bill signed by Trump kill one of Jeff Bezos’s Boston investments?

January 6, 2019 | https://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2019/01/06/tougher-foreign-investor-reviews-have-many-startups-edge/H7u5tDPRg2ean7vloaGSEM/story.html The Boston Globe

This article in The Boston Globe looks at how a law – signed in August and which took effect in November – is impacting Boston’s start-up community. The specific law is the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and it requires foreign entities investing in U.S. companies in 27 “critical” industries to be properly documented with CFIUS at the risk of penalties.

FTC Investigations Could Bring Unwanted Scrutiny to Hospitals

January 1, 2019 | Healthcare Risk Management

This feature article looks at the potential increased scrutiny hospitals may face from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in terms of anticompetitive behavior. Rob Kidwell, an antitrust Member with Mintz, is among the industry sources providing commentary.

DOJ sensibly returns to antitrust fundamentals on patent licensing

November 23, 2018 | https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/417833-doj-sensibly-returns-to-antitrust-fundamentals The Hill

A team of Mintz attorneys - Mike Renaud, Rob Kidwell and Rob Moore - authored this issues response op-ed discussing the Department of Justice's (DOJ) statements on intellectual property rights, "the New Madison Approach." This approach marks a return to the core principles on which the patent laws are predicated.
Mintz is pleased to announce that eight attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2018 and three others have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The annual publication identifies lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.
Chair of Mintz’s Antitrust section Bruce Sokler, along with Member Rob Kidwell and attorneys, Farrah Short Shawn Skolky collaborated on an article regarding the Washington state attorney general’s office suit against the expansion efforts of Franciscan Health System.  
Eight Mintz attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2017 and four have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in The Washington Post Magazine and in a stand-alone magazine, Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine.
Mintz attorneys Michael Renaud, Robert Kidwell, and Robert Moore discuss the FTC’s suit against Qualcomm in the U. S. District Court for the Northern District of California as well as the timing of the lawsuit and specifics of the FTC’s complaints against said company. 
A team of Mintz attorneys author this column discussing the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s steep fine against Qualcomm for antitrust violations and the continued antitrust concerns raised by Qualcomm’s licensing practices.
Robert G. Kidwell, Member of Mintz's Antitrust and Federal Regulatory Practice, is participating in a panel discussion at the 2016 Association of Corporate Counsel Annual Meeting. Mr. Kidwell will discuss the increasing pressure on health care providers to rein in escalating costs.
Mintz Members Bruce Sokler and Robert Kidwell, and Special Counsel Farrah Short, authored this Law360 column about the war being waged between businesses that accept payment cards and payment card fees and protective network rules.
Mintz Member Robert Kidwell is quoted in this Law360 article discussing the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to not review the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ finding that McWane Inc. maintained monopoly power through a rebate policy.
Members Peter Saparoff and Robert Kidwell and Associates Joel Rothman and Kevin Mortimer authored this ABA’s Section of Litigation column on the trend of plaintiff investors filing a growing number of class action cases against financial institutions alleging violations of U.S. antitrust laws.
Seven Mintz attorneys have been named Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers for 2015 and five have been named Washington, D.C. Rising Stars. The list will be published in a special advertising supplement in Washington Post Magazine and in a stand-alone Washington D.C. Super Lawyers Magazine.

Events

Speaker
Nov
16
2016
Speaker
Speaker
Jun
14
2016

OHA 2016 Annual Meeting & Education Summit

Ohio Hospital Association

Hilton Columbus at Easton, Columbus, OH