Locke Lord represents clients in a wide range of government-initiated investigations and enforcement actions, including:
- Antitrust investigations and actions brought in connection with mergers, acquisitions and the formation of joint ventures, which typically are conducted by the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and/or state antitrust enforcement agencies
- Civil antitrust conduct investigations brought by the DOJ, FTC and/or state antitrust enforcement agencies
- Criminal antitrust investigations and litigation brought by the DOJ
Our team of antitrust lawyers includes two former U.S. Attorneys and a former senior official in the FTC. A sampling of these investigations includes:
Mergers and Acquisition Investigations
- “Project Volt” transaction. Currently representing a private equity partnership in the sale of a midstream natural gas company. This transaction, referenced as “Project Volt,” has resulted in ongoing investigations by the FTC, which issued a “Second Request” for additional information relevant to the transaction, and by the Ohio Attorney General, which issued a similar Civil Investigative Demand (CID).
- U.S. v. Cameron International Corp. Represented NATCO Group in connection with its acquisition by Cameron International. This transaction resulted in an investigation and Second Request issued by the DOJ. Following extensive discovery, we eventually negotiated a settlement with the DOJ, pursuant to which the merging parties agreed to divest a portion of their petroleum desalting business and offer licenses for technology related to their refinery desalting products. The District Court for the District of Columbia entered a Final Judgment that approved the merger under the terms of the parties’ settlement with the DOJ.
- Sale of Southern Union Company to Energy Transfer Partners. Represented Southern Union Company (SUC) in connection with its acquisition by Energy Transfer Partners (ETP). This transaction resulted in investigations by the FTC and the Texas and Florida Attorneys General, which each issued either a Voluntary Request for additional information relevant to the acquisition or similar CIDs.
- Subsequent acquisition of Southern Union Gathering Company by Regency Energy Partners. Following the acquisition of SUC by ETP, represented Regency Energy Partners in connection with its acquisition of Southern Union Gathering Company from ETP, which also was investigated by the FTC.
- Acquisition of Karbach Brewing Co. by Anheuser-Busch InBev. Represented Karbach Brewing Co. in the sale of the Texas craft brewer to Anheuser-Busch InBev. The DOJ issued Karbach with a Voluntary Request for additional information and documents relevant to the proposed acquisition. In response to that request, we and AB InBev’s lawyers jointly prepared and submitted written materials and made a presentation to the DOJ. Ultimately, the DOJ did not issue a Second Request, and the transaction was cleared by the agency.