New Directions in U.S. Antitrust Enforcement (FTI Consulting)

31 January 2019



Companies and their legal counsel have speculated about the direction of antitrust enforcement policy under the Trump administration. Well, the answer is in: Enforcement is as aggressive as ever and pointing in some new directions. The Antitrust Division has continued the major criminal proceedings from the Obama era and commenced new criminal investigations focused on industry-wide conduct, and filed unprecedented vertical merger challenges in federal court. The newly appointed FTC commissioners have announced a series of public hearings to “critically rethink” how the agencies approach policy and enforcement decisions. Both agencies have issued numerous public comments about intellectual property (“IP”) standard-setting that suggest a more aggressive review of joint competitor efforts to influence the process by which industry standards are set. In short, companies must understand the government’s enforcement approach and continue to focus significant attention and resources on compliance programs and efforts.

During this program, K&L Gates and FTI Consulting will look back at the agencies’ enforcement actions, policies, and priorities over the past year and examine some of the new directions and priorities in U.S. antitrust enforcement and their likely impact on companies across the globe. Our panel will address:

  • U.S. merger enforcement, the current focus on vertical transactions, and policy developments at the FTC, including the “FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century”;
  • The agencies’ recent comments and investigations related to IP standard-setting and best practices for companies engaged in standard-setting activities with their competitors;
  • Recent criminal antitrust enforcement actions and policy statements, including specific industries that have or are likely to be targeted;
  • An in-depth discussion of the agencies’ new policy to criminally prosecute naked no-poach and wage-fixing agreements; and
  • Compliance strategies and best practices to mitigate antitrust risk in the current political and economic environment, including data-driven techniques for early detection of potential anticompetitive conduct.
  • Steven M. Kowal – Senior Counsel, K&L Gates Chicago
  • Michael E. Martinez – Partner, K&L Gates Chicago
  • Allen R. Bachman – Partner, K&L Gates Washington, DC
  • Lauren Norris Donahue – Partner, K&L Gates Chicago
  • Nicole P. Wells, CPA/CFF – Senior Managing Director, FTI Consulting
  • John E. Susoreny – Staff Lawyer, K&L Gates Chicago
  • Brian J. Smith – Associate, K&L Gates Chicago
  • Gina A. Jenero – Associate, K&L Gates Chicago
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