Global Cartel Defense

Why Cooley

“Aggressive antitrust enforcement requires deterring, detecting and prosecuting collusion that harms Americans even if that conduct occurs outside US borders. That is why international cartel enforcement remains a priority for us.” – Richard Powers, deputy assistant attorney general of criminal enforcement, DOJ Antitrust Division

“And now, as the pandemic starts to recede, our work on collecting evidence is gathering pace. … And that’s just the start of a series of raids that we’re planning for the months to come.” – Margrethe Vestager, executive vice president and commissioner for competition, European Commission

Enforcement agencies around the world have called for a new era of cartel enforcement and are making it a top priority. Companies and individuals turn to Cooley to advise them on enforcement risks, and defend them in investigations and related litigation. We develop a comprehensive strategy to defend our clients at every stage of administrative, civil or criminal proceedings – from dawn raids to amnesty, leniency applications to defense before agencies, and courts to resolution of damages claims. We have a robust track record of securing successful outcomes for our clients, often persuading governments not to pursue charges, avoiding financial penalty and/or avoiding public disclosure. In other cases, we vigorously defend or negotiate reasonable resolutions for our clients, enabling them to mitigate and control future risk.

Industry Representation

  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Chemicals
  • Construction and building materials
  • Financial services
  • Food and beverage
  • Hardware
  • Higher education and universities
  • Life sciences
  • Metals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Software
  • Technology

Representative Matters

  • Represented a chipmaker in an investigation of “no-poach” agreements
  • Secured immunity from fines on behalf of a car parts manufacturer in a European Commission investigation
  • Represented a major protein supplier in multiple cartel investigations
  • Represented multiple clients in multiple generics price-fixing investigations
  • Represented a bearing manufacturer in a European Commission investigation
  • Represented a car parts supplier in several cartel investigations before national authorities, including Japan, Korea and India
  • Represented a data company in a DOJ criminal grand jury investigation
  • Secured full immunity in a European Commission’s car battery recycling and chemical investigation
  • Represented airline clients in the first annulment of an immunity decision, which was noted as the 2016 Matter of the Year by Global Competition Review
  • Represented a construction company in a UK CMA cartel investigation and secured dismissal of all charges against our client
  • Secured immunity from fines on behalf of an automotive parts company in European Commission investigations into what has been called the “largest cartel investigation in history” – and defended against and resolved claims for damages
  • Obtained dismissal, affirmed by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in a price-fixing class action claiming airlines colluded to fix airfares
  • Secured the most substantial fine reduction in history on appeal before European Union courts
  • Secured immunity from fines on behalf of a chemicals company and represented it in the resolution of related damages claims
  • Represented a financial sponsor in a European Commission cartel investigation and appeals to European Union courts, as well as defense against and resolution of claims for damages
  • Represented a senior executive in relation to a UK CMA cartel investigation into the metals sector after a dawn raid
  • Represented a senior UK executive in a Brazilian cartel investigation conducted by CADE and other parallel enforcement agencies