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61st Annual Antitrust Law Spring Meeting:


In April, the American Bar Association held its 61st Annual Antitrust Spring Conference (the world's largest antitrust and consumer protection conference).

At that conference, U.S. and international regulators highlighted the key issues  that are likely to have a substantial impact on companies outside the United States:

  1. The U.S. DOJ Antitrust Division will continue its intensified oversight and enforcement.
    • In 2012, the Antitrust Division collected more than $1 billion from criminal offenders, the great majority of which were foreign-based companies;
    • The Division will continue its heightened focus on anticompetitive conduct taking place outside the U.S. that may affect U.S. commerce;
    • The Division intends to maintain its aggressive prosecution of cartel activity;
    • The Antitrust Division will continue to pursue and expand "per se" criminal claims.
  2. Recent decisions by U.S. Courts have expanded the scope of the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act ("FTAIA"), thus increasing the risk that foreign companies will be subjected to U.S. antitrust laws in both criminal and civil contexts.
  3. Competition authorities abroad are increasing their prosecutorial activities and reach; we especially anticipate increased activity  in Brazil, Mexico, and China.
  4. The Antitrust Division will incorporate several new carve-out rules and policy changes with respect to individual executives targeted for prosecution, including:
    • For companies entering into price-fixing plea deals with the Division, the written agreements will no longer publicly identify executives who may be subject to prosecution;
    • In price-fixing plea deals with the Division, the written agreements will no longer carve out individuals unless government lawyers actually believe them to be culpable of misconduct.

Nossaman partner Christopher Nedeau was invited to join a distinguished panel to discuss "Lessons from the AUO Trial," examining the trial of the first company to litigate an international criminal cartel case to verdict in many years.  A synopsis of his remarks will follow in a future e-alert.

If you would like more information on the key antitrust developments discussed at the recent ABA Conference or if you have questions on the impact these developments may affect on your business, Nossaman's antitrust attorneys are pleased to assist.

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