Why Does Antitrust Law Matter to You?

Antitrust matters to me. It is a big part of how I make my living—as an antitrust attorney. That is why the blog is called (unimaginatively) The Antitrust Attorney Blog. You might be an antitrust lawyer too. And if so, I guess the above question is easy for you to answer.

But if you aren’t an antitrust or competition lawyer, why read about antitrust? Maybe it is interesting to you? If so, then I respect you because you have what I view as a cool interest. You’ve probably been popular your whole life.

It is more likely, however, that antitrust matters to you because it could affect you (or if you are an attorney, your clients). In fact, I receive many calls from both business owners and non-antitrust attorneys because they or their clients may have an antitrust case or want to avoid someone having a case against them.

If you fall into one of those categories, I highly recommend that you attend a webinar that I am presenting on Tuesday, August 26 for Strafford entitled “Detecting Antitrust Red Flags in Business Dealings: Avoiding Costly Pitfalls: Identifying Potential Violations in Competitor, Supplier and Customer Interactions and Business Decisions.” I am honored to have two outstanding antitrust attorneys as co-presenters: Ryan W. Marth of Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Justin W. Bernick of Hogan Lovells in Washington, DC.

You can review the flyer, but I thought I’d tell you a little bit about why we organized the program like we did.

Our hope is quite literally to help you understand why Antitrust matters to you. As I explained in a previous blog post, if you aren’t an antitrust lawyer, you must know how to spot antitrust issues, whether you are part of a business team or an attorney with clients in business. The consequences of an antitrust issue are big. If you are a defendant or the subject of a government investigation, your company could face its end, or at the least, a materially reportable whack to the head. The time to worry about antitrust is not after the lawsuit is filed or the government investigators knock on your door (or knock your door down).

But there are many antitrust compliance-like CLEs with antitrust lawyers trying to scare everyone about the antitrust boogeyman that shows up if you don’t hire this lawyer or that lawyer. Of course, some scaring is justified because it can prompt companies to stop putting off mitigating risks that appear (often incorrectly) remote but could have catastrophic conclusions.

Our program, however, pairs this risk discussion with talk about opportunity. Perhaps your company or your client’s company faces a situation where they can’t compete: Not because they aren’t good enough or are unwilling to improve their product or reduce their costs, but because another entity or group of entities is doing something structural (and potentially anticompetitive) to keep them from competing.

It might feel unfair and it could put the company out of business. You may feel that something illegal is going on, but you don’t know exactly what. It could, in fact, be an antitrust or competition law related issue. So learning enough about the antitrust laws to spot issues could help you spot opportunities.

Our hope is that we can not only teach you about what risks to avoid (and how to do that), but where to look for opportunities. We want you to learn how to spot the issues, so you know when to call an antitrust attorney for a more detailed analysis. It could save your company or your client’s company. That is why antitrust law should matter to you.

 

I still have a limited number of complimentary passes, so please feel free to contact me if you are interested in attending. If you are quick enough, you could participate for free.