O’Melveny’s antitrust and competition team works seamlessly across offices in the US, Europe, and Asia to guide transactions from inspiration in the boardroom to realization in the market. We routinely handle complex international mergers and have guided countless transactions, including joint ventures and patent pools, through the global clearance process—for clients of all sizes and across a wide range of industries.
Benefitting from our strong relationships with, and keen insight into, antitrust enforcers in key jurisdictions such as the US, Europe and China, we counsel clients on developing a compelling, procompetitive strategic rationale for their transactions, whether in the pre-merger notification phase or through substantive defense of high-stakes merger challenges. We collaborate with clients to analyze complex transaction structures and advise on appropriately managing antitrust risk before agreements are executed. We anticipate the issues that antitrust enforcers may scrutinize and advise clients on practical and effective clearance solutions, including through adept remedy design, negotiation, and implementation. We also advocate for government intervention and remedies on behalf of parties adversely impacted by mergers.
Our insight into how agencies operate is strengthened by a team that includes veterans of the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the US Federal Trade Commission, US Attorney’s Offices across the country, and the Hong Kong Competition Commission. In the US, we regularly handle complex Second Request reviews. And our reputation as a formidable courtroom adversary puts us in an elite group of firms with the ability and experience to litigate these complex cases successfully.
In Europe, our Brussels- and London-based team boasts extensive experience in obtaining merger clearances and foreign direct investment clearances for even the most industry-transforming transactions before the European Commission, EU Member State authorities, and the UK Competition and Markets Authority. We are also a recognized market leader in China, where we can pride ourselves on working closely with China’s MOFCOM and latterly the SAMR in their review of mergers under the Anti-Monopoly Law since it came into effect in 2008. Through our frequent representation of companies in cross-border transactions, our teams work to develop strategy, manage information requests, and keep the client cognizant of all developments on the road toward clearance.
We have broad experience across many industries and understand the commercial realities our clients face. Our industry experience includes pharmaceutical and life sciences, semiconductors and other technologies, financial services, aviation, health care, agriculture, commodities, consumer and retail products, entertainment and media, and telecommunications.
Counsel to Asiana Airlines on its proposed acquisition by Korean Airlines. The combination of the two Seoul-headquartered carriers has been notified to competition authorities in numerous jurisdictions worldwide, including the US, EU, Chinese, South Korean, and UK authorities. Our reputation in this matter earned us the 2023 “Merger Control Matter of the Year – Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa” award by the Global Competition Review.
As lead trial counsel for the parties in the DOJ’s challenge to the $85.4 billion merger—the first vertical merger challenge tried to verdict in the US in decades—we helped secure a “sweeping victory” for the defense.
Represented Bass Pro in the FTC investigation of its acquisition of Cabela’s and obtained unconditional clearance. We then guided Sportsman’s Warehouse through the FTC investigation into Bass Pro’s attempted acquisition of the outdoor sporting goods retailer.
Advising the global leader in engineered materials and optoelectronic components in implementing a unique hold-separate remedy imposed by China’s SAMR following its acquisition of Finisar Corporation. More recently, we advised Coherent Corp. on its acquisition of Coherent, Inc., a global provider of lasers and laser-based technology for scientific, commercial, and industrial customers; we also advise on the implementation of remedies imposed by SAMR following this further transaction.
Served as global antitrust counsel on the Korea-based manufacturer of petrochemical products’ $2.5 billion acquisition of US-based specialty chemical manufacturer Kraton Corporation, which included merger filings before antitrust agencies in the US, Asia, and Europe.
Secured unconditional merger clearance from the UK’s CMA for IAA’s acquisition of its UK competitor, SYNETIQ Holdings Limited, a salvage and vehicle dismantling company.
Obtained regulatory clearance through a negotiated settlement for the acquisition of an American airline, creating the fifth largest US airline and strengthening our client’s position on the West Coast.
Represented Norsk in numerous transactions, including the multi-jurisdictional antitrust aspects of the €1.4 billion sale of its rolled products business. Our latest success in securing unconditional Phase II clearance from the European Commission for Hydro’s acquisition of rival aluminum foundry alloy producer, Alumetal, gained wide recognition as a rare exception in the Commission’s notoriously burdensome Phase II enforcement practice.
We have counseled the company in many strategic transactions over the years, including its acquisition of the Shiel Medical Laboratory business of Fresenius Medical Care and its high-profile joint venture with Walmart to provide and deliver diagnostic and other basic healthcare services.
On behalf of Seidler Equity Partners, obtained DOJ clearance of Rawlings’ strategic acquisition of Easton, which strengthened the sporting goods companies’ brands, enhanced product innovation, and enabled investments to grow the game of baseball.
Developed and implemented an effective Second Request strategy to obtain DOJ clearance for its acquisition of Sierra Wireless quickly and without remedies.
Helped the largest US rural lifestyle retailer expand its presence in the mid-west by acquiring Orscheln Farm and Home through the successful negotiation of a settlement with the FTC.
Advised the US-based manufacturer of printed circuit boards in the global competition clearance of its sale of four significant subsidiaries to Xiamen Haicang Development Group (securing an unconditional clearance from China’s SAMR), as well as global merger control and FDI filings on its $330 million acquisition of Telephonics Corporation from Griffon Corporation.
“Prominent antitrust team with comprehensive litigation expertise and a strong merger clearance practice, handling major global transactions. Represents numerous household-name clients in some of the biggest US and worldwide cases.”
—Chambers USA, Antitrust, Washington, DC
“Represents clients in merger filings and complex regulatory investigations, acting as both HSR counsel to corporate clients and as a destination practice for high-profile merger investigations by the DOJ and FTC. The team has particularly strength in handling FTC Second Requests.”
—The Legal 500 US, Merger Control
Featured annually in Global Competition Review’s “GCR 100” highlighting the best 100 antitrust and competition firms from around the world
Merger Control Matter of the Year: Asia-Pacific, Middle East, and Africa Region—Asiana Airlines/Korean Air Merger
—Global Competition Review (2023)
Merger Control Matter of the Year: Americas—AT&T/Time Warner Merger Litigation
—Global Competition Review (2019)
Competition/Antitrust Practice Group of the Year