Antitrust Law Meets High-Tech Companies:
January 25, 2021
Legal Challenges Facing High-Tech Companies
Technology companies face unique challenges when confronted with antitrust and competition issues. The lawyers in Sullivan & Cromwell’s Global Antitrust Group, including members of its European Competition practice, bring exceptional expertise to this dynamic area and include former top officials from the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission.
Interpreting laws written decades ago for new technologies and business practices requires a deep understanding of the law and of emerging technologies. It also requires an ability to work with government regulators in the United States, the United Kingdom, Europe and around the world on merger clearance and enforcement investigations, as well as experience in coordinating complex high-profile litigation by private plaintiffs.
As a new administration in the United States moves ahead, Germany has recently introduced and the European Union considers more sweeping powers to address competition, and private plaintiffs become more aggressive with multi-jurisdiction litigation, technology companies need sophisticated advisers more than ever.
While much of our antitrust work for technology companies is confidential, a few recent engagements include matters for:
- Amazon.com in its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market;
- American Express in its acquisition of fintech company Kabbage;
- Delivery Hero S.E. in the sale of its German food delivery operations to Takeaway.com;
- DISH in its purchase of assets from Sprint, enabling DISH to enter the U.S. wireless market as the fourth-largest cellular phone company provider;
- Fiserv in its $22 billion acquisition of First Data Corporation;
- Harris Corporation in its $35 billion merger with L3 Technologies Inc., the largest-ever defense industry merger (handled by the European Commission’s tech merger unit);
- HelloFresh SE in the German company’s acquisition of Factor75 Inc.;
- Hitachi in the European Commission’s concluded global capacitors cartel investigation and in follow-on litigation;
- Intel in competition law matters, including the $1 billion sale of its 5G smartphone modem business to Apple; and
- Spotify in connection with advocacy relating to competition in the digital markets.
Meet the co-heads of our Antitrust and European Competition practices.
Renata Hesse practices in our Washington, D.C. office and regularly counsels companies on issues at the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property matters in high-tech industries. Before joining Sullivan & Cromwell, Renata spent more than 15 years at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, serving twice as Acting Assistant Attorney General and also as Chief of the Networks and Technology Section (now the Technology and Financial Services Section). Renata also served as Senior Counsel to the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.
Steven Holley practices in our New York office and has extensive experience counseling clients on antitrust issues, as well as representing them in private and government litigation. He has handled cases in state and federal courts and has substantial experience with arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. He has represented clients in a wide variety of industries, including microprocessors, pharmaceuticals, medical imaging equipment and computer software.
Juan Rodriguez practices in our London office and co-leads the European Competition Group. He has extensive experience before the EU Commission, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, and national competition authorities in Europe on merger review proceedings, cartel investigations and state aid issues. He also has extensive experience before the EU General Court and Court of Justice. In addition to being qualified in England and Wales, he is a member of the Paris Bar.
Michael Rosenthal practices in our Brussels office, where he advises on the full range of EU and German competition law matters. He regularly practices before the European Commission and the German competition authority and courts, as well as the European courts. He has advised clients on a significant number of global transactions, as well as complex cartel investigations and monopolization matters with a particular focus on the tech sector. He is dual-qualified in Germany (Frankfurt a.M.) and the United States (New York).
Learn more about our Global Antitrust and European Competition practices and explore our insights in the following recent podcasts, articles and publications.
- Antitrust and Tech in Focus: Six Key Questions
- Memo: Major German Competition Law Reform Introduces Merger Control Changes and Claims Role as Leading Tech Antitrust Enforcer
- Memo: Brexit: Implications for Global Transactions
- S&C Lawyers Win “Best Antitrust Business Article” for Analysis of Qualcomm Patent Licensing Dispute
- Renata Hesse Co-Authors Chapter in The Intellectual Property and Antitrust Review
- Memo: EU Antitrust Law: Regulating Big Tech
- Podcast: S&C Critical Insights–Implications of the Ninth Circuit's Qualcomm Patent Licensing Decision