Competitor Collaborations After American Needle v. NFL

Avoiding Antitrust Violations in Joint Ventures with Competitors

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

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Conducted on Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE course will provide guidance on minimizing antitrust risks for companies and counsel involved in or considering competitor collaborations. The panel will discuss the Supreme Court's recent ruling in American Needle and outline best practices to avoid anticompetitive conduct when working with competitors.


The Supreme Court’s American Needle v. National Football League decision that the NFL is made up of 32 separate business entities whose conduct is subject to antitrust restrictions brings a new focus to competitor collaborations. The merits of that case are still to be decided on remand.

Since the DOJ and FTC released their “Antitrust Guidelines for Collaboration Among Competitors,” federal regulators have shown that they will not hesitate to rein in joint ventures that go beyond legal boundaries. American Needle tends to reinforce that view.

As competing businesses look to joint ventures or other collaborations as an alternative to mergers or acquisitions, the risks of antitrust violations increase. Competitors who collaborate must avoid clashing with antitrust laws—and drawing DOJ and FTC scrutiny.

Listen as our authoritative panel of antitrust attorneys examines the American Needle decision and the implications of the Court’s ruling, the circumstances under which competitor collaborations trigger antitrust investigations, and best practices for planning and operating ventures with competitors.



  1. American Needle v. NFL
    1. Brief review of the facts
    2. Supreme Court ruling
    3. Implications on Dagher
  2. Effects on competition (balancing pro-competitive and anti-competitive effects)
    1. Pricing
    2. Cost
    3. Product quality
    4. Service to consumers
    5. Production
  3. Best practices for planning and operating ventures with competitors


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What is the anticipated impact of American Needle ruling on the application of Dagher?
  • How effective are the safety zones established for permissible collaborations?
  • How are courts ruling on collaboration v. collusion issues?


Robert Schlossberg
Robert Schlossberg

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

He represents clients on antitrust matters with a particular emphasis on practice before the FTC and the Antitrust...  |  Read More

Robert B. Bell
Robert B. Bell

Kaye Scholer

He has extensive experience in securing antitrust clearance for mergers and acquisitions from the Department of Justice...  |  Read More

William L. Monts, III
William L. Monts, III

Hogan Lovells

He focuses on antitrust and complex litigation matters in various aspects of the petroleum industry. He represents...  |  Read More

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