Avoiding Antitrust Violations in Competitor Collaborations

Lessons From FTC/DOJ Enforcement Actions and Litigation

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, May 28, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will discuss when and how competitor collaborations will be subject to government antitrust investigations — and private litigation. The panel will offer their perspectives on best practices for planning and operating ventures with competitors.


The economic crisis is leading more companies to seek joint ventures and other collaborations with competitors as an alternative to mergers or acquisitions. However, competitors who collaborate must avoid clashing with antitrust laws and drawing the attention of government investigators.

The Supreme Court's ruling in Texaco Inc. v. Dagher and Shell Oil Co. v. Dagher, signaled that even government-approved joint ventures may be subject to private antitrust litigation. A variety of issues remain unclear in applying antitrust principles to competitor collaborations.

Since the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission released their "Antitrust Guidelines for Collaboration Among Competitors," federal regulators have demonstrated that they will punish joint ventures that go beyond legal boundaries.

Listen as our authoritative panel of antitrust attorneys addresses the circumstances under which competitor collaborations trigger antitrust investigations and examines best practices for planning and operating ventures with competitors.



  1. Antitrust principles applicable to competitor collaborations
    1. Applicable antitrust laws generally
    2. Purpose and overview of FTC/DOJ competitor collaboration guidelines
    3. Difference between mergers & collaborations; why does this matter?
    4. Safety zones — do they exist?
    5. Standard setting (brief overview)
  2. Fields of collaborations
    1. Elements of a joint venture
    2. Areas of common collaboration
    3. Trade associations
  3. Effects on competition — Balancing pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects (least restrictive means)
    1. Pricing
    2. Cost
    3. Product quality
    4. Service to consumers
    5. Production
  4. Antitrust principles applicable to standard setting bodies
    1. Antitrust laws generally
    2. When patents read on standards — Role of Section 2
    3. Recent developments


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What triggers FTC/DOJ scrutiny into cooperative relationships and how can businesses avoid crossing the line?
  • What is the distinction between mergers and collaborations, and why do those differences matter?
  • How effective are the safety zones established for permissible collaborations?
  • How are courts ruling on collaboration vs. collusion issues?


Philip C. Larson
Philip C. Larson

Hogan Lovells

He chairs the firm's Antitrust, Competition, and Consumer Protection Practice Group. He focuses on joint ventures,...  |  Read More

Gary P. Zanfagna
Gary P. Zanfagna
Associate General Counsel and Chief Antitrust Counsel
Honeywell International

Before joining Honeywell, he was Assistant Director for Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission. He was one of...  |  Read More

MJ Moltenbrey
MJ Moltenbrey

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

She represents clients before the DOJ and FTC and in federal courts on many issues, including mergers, civil and...  |  Read More

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