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Crowell & Moring’s Antitrust Group attorneys are currently addressing a variety of issues related to the COVID-19 crisis, including those involving:

  • joint competitor supply chain management (i.e. sharing of sensitive supplier qualification/credit information)
  • price gouging and pricing responses
  • customer allocation and collaborative customer responses
  • other related antitrust issues.

In addition, we are seeing a significant increase in requests for advice on coordinated industry lobbying and policy advocacy (i.e. Noerr-Pennington) advice, both from trade associations and from individual companies and groups.

Other developing issues we are consulting on or anticipating include “Next Wave” of issues, such as:

  • Follow-on investigations and litigations addressing anticompetitive arrangements created during the pandemic
  • Competitor collaboration counseling as COVID-19 continues to affect industry
  • Agency insight /counseling as agencies navigate staffing concerns, and concerns from businesses related to competitor collaborations to remain viable
  • Uptick in mergers as companies look at strategic acquisitions that may be more affordable in an economic downturn
  • Increase in EU State Aid work as the government intervenes to support companies affected by the COVID-19 crisis

Current Antitrust COVID-19 representative matters including:

  • Advising a major pharmaceutical association on antitrust aspects of collaboration between pharmaceutical companies in Europe to ensure appropriate supply of essential drugs in the fight against COVID-19.
  • Advising a major consumer-facing company regarding the applicability of pricing controls in the State of California triggered by the governor’s coronavirus-related declaration of a state of emergency.
  • Advising a trade association on how to talk about the virus and the pricing of member services without tripping antitrust wires.
  • Assisting a trade association on proposed legislation enhancing FTC authority over price gouging during exigent circumstances.
  • Advising a major car rental company on anti-price gouging statutes that have been triggered by the states of emergency that have been declared at the state and national levels.
  • Representing multiple trade associations in management of antitrust risk associated with crisis benchmarking and joint government advocacy exercises, and with other competitor collaborations and industry meetings/communications.
  • Advising a major distributor on best practices in response to government-coordinated all-industry crisis response.
  • Advising a major industrial client on antitrust risk management issues associated with supply chain, production, and sales collaborations with competitors.
  • Advising several travel industry clients on structure and management of industry-wide government-facing lobbying and advocacy efforts and antitrust immunity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine.
  • Advising a large food retailer on the antitrust aspects of a joint project with competing food retailers to enable medical personnel to have their groceries delivered at their hospital for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis.  We obtained informal clearance from the President of the Belgian Competition Authority in half a day.
  • Advising providers and suppliers entering into collaborative care arrangements with competitors to isolate COVID-19 patients in order to ensure antitrust and fraud and abuse compliance and to address operational questions related to billing and reimbursement for such services.

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Crowell & Moring LLP is an international law firm with more than 500 lawyers representing clients in litigation and arbitration, regulatory, and transactional matters. The firm is internationally recognized for its representation of Fortune 500 companies in high-stakes litigation, as well as its ongoing commitment to pro bono service and diversity. The firm has offices in Washington, DC, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, London, and Brussels.

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