Week Ahead in Antitrust: July 6, 2021 – Reuters
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(Reuters) – Here are some upcoming events of interest to the antitrust community. Unless otherwise noted, all times are Eastern Standard, and court appearances are virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Monday, July 5
Supplemental briefing is due today from the plaintiffs’ lawyers in the antitrust case Klein v. Facebook Inc. Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California has permitted new briefs allowing the lawyers for both sides address the consequences, if any, of the Washington, D.C., federal judge’s ruling on June 28 dismissing U.S. and state antitrust suits against the social media company. Koh vacated a case management conference that had been set for later this week. Consumer plaintiffs have alleged Facebook used “deceptively obtained data to identify competitors and inform acquisitions.” Advertiser plaintiffs alleged antitrust violations in the social advertising market.
The case is Klein v. Facebook Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, No. 5:20-cv-08570. For consumer class: Stephen Swedlow of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Shana Scarlett of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro. For advertiser class: Yavar Bathaee of Bathaee Dunne, and Kristen Anderson of Scott + Scott Attorneys at Law. For Facebook: Sonal Mehta, David Gringer and Ari Holtzblatt of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.
Tuesday, July 6
2 p.m. – A Washington, D.C., federal trial judge is set to meet with the lawyers involved in the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust action seeking to block insurance broker Aon’s $30 billion acquisition of Willis Towers Watson. Judge Reggie Walton of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said he needs to hear from the Justice Department, and private lawyers for the defendants, to resolve the entry of a protective order and production of investigative materials.
The case is United States v. Aon, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:21-cv-01633. For the United States: William Jones II of the Justice Department. For Aon: E. Marcellus Williamson, Daniel Wall, Lawrence Buterman, Michael Egge and Marguerite Sullivan of Latham & Watkins. For Willis Towers Watson: Clifford Aronson, Karen Lent, Matthew Martino and David Wales of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom.
Thursday, July 8
9:30 a.m. – Lawyers from Covington & Burling are set to participate in a webinar, in partnership with Concurrences, that spotlights an European Union foreign subsidies proposal. Brussels-based competition law partner Peter Camesasca is on the panel with Sophie Bertin, a senior advisor to the firm on antitrust and financial services matters. Find registration details and more here.
12 p.m. – The American Bar Association’s antitrust section hosts an event featuring a discussion about diversity, equity and inclusion challenges and successful steps organizations have taken to surmount those hurdles. Speakers are scheduled to include D. Bruce Hoffman of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s competition bureau; Gabrielle Kohlmeier, associate general counsel for antitrust and strategic affairs at Verizon; and Rosevelie Márquez Morales, head of diversity and inclusion for the Americas at Hogan Lovells. Find more information here.
Friday, July 9
The parties involved in antitrust case United States v. Google in Washington, D.C., federal court must submit by today statements that outline any issues related to subpoenas to third parties. Judge Amit Mehta of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia plans to hold a hearing on July 14. Addressing the court at a hearing last week, lawyers for Google last week raised early concerns about the third-party subpoenas.
The case is United States v. Google, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, No. 1:20-cv-03010. For the United States: Kenneth Dintzer and Jesús M. Alvarado-Rivera of the Justice Department. For Google: John Schmidtlein of Williams & Connolly; Susan Creighton of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; and Mark Popofsky of Ropes & Gray.
10:15 a.m. – Judge Andrea Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois is set to convene for a status hearing in the criminal antitrust case United States v. Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc. Vortex pleaded guilty in May 2021 to a superseding information charging an alleged bid-rigging conspiracy for commercial flooring services and products. Chicago-based Dechert partner Andrew Boutros, regional chairman of the white-collar practice, is on the defense team for Vortex.
The case is United States v. Vortex Commercial Flooring Inc, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, No. 1:19-cr-00917. For the United States: Chester Choi, Elizabeth Homan, Mary McCarthy and Jason Turner of the Justice Department. For Vortex: Andrew Boutros and John Schleppenbach of Dechert.