Antitrust and merger analysis

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Bates White professionals and affiliates help clients in communications and media industries with issues related to complex antitrust litigation, including horizontal conspiracies, monopolization, and vertical restraints. We advise clients on issues of market definition, market power, and procompetitive and anticompetitive behavior; and we evaluate competitive effects under antitrust and “public interest” standards. Rapid evolution of these industries, along with more recent phenomena such as cross-platform competition, can make such matters particularly complex; Bates White is equipped with the knowledge and experience to navigate these issues.

Our experts also assist clients with antitrust review of merger matters. Mergers in the communications and media industries often involve multiple jurisdictional reviews that include federal antitrust agencies, the FCC, and state regulatory agencies. We apply our experience with merger analysis to the special issues affecting these industries in order to assist merging parties, interested third parties, and government agencies. Increased globalization of communications firms means that international review is also sometimes required. Our alliance with E.CA Economics enhances our ability to provide antitrust and merger review services on an international scale.

  • Submitted a statement addressing geographic market definition, spectrum share screens, and other issues to the FCC on behalf of the Communications Workers of America regarding the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile USA.
  • Conducted economic analysis on behalf of a video programming distributor about vertical foreclosure issues and other possible effects arising from the merger of Comcast and NBC Universal. Assisted the client in meetings with DOJ.
  • Appeared before DOJ and the European Commission on behalf of a client concerned about possible effects of the proposed online advertising agreement between Yahoo! and Google. Developed and validated models that explored the likely competitive effects of the agreement in the United States and Europe. The agreement was abandoned after DOJ announced its intent to challenge it.
  • Appeared before the FTC on behalf of a client concerned about possible effects of Google’s proposed acquisition of DoubleClick. Supported expert presentations to competition authorities at the European Commission.
  • Submitted a white paper and made presentations to the staff and Commissioners of the FCC regarding proposed rules concerning the unbundling obligations of local exchange carriers. Analysis considered issues of market definition and standards and tests for determining impairment.
  • On behalf of AT&T, prepared a paper analyzing whether net neutrality-type rules should be imposed on the wireless industry. Conducted in-depth analysis of structure and performance of the US wireless industry. Findings indicated industry conditions and practices are inconsistent with an industry in need of regulation. 
  • Supported expert testimony to the FCC in connection with the proposed merger of AT&T and Bellsouth. Focused on likely competitive effects in markets for Internet backbone services. Analyzed concerns relating to issues of net neutrality. 
  • Provided support to a telecommunications carrier regarding its advocacy related to the acquisitions of MCI by Verizon Communications and AT&T by SBC Communications. Directed competitive analyses and assisted counsel with presentations to FCC and Department of Justice. 
  • Prepared economic analyses and presented them to the staffs of Department of Justice and FCC on behalf of a telecommunications company opposing a proposed acquisition in the wireless industry. Responsible for developing analysis of relevant markets and competitive impact.