United States: California
Partner Michael Tubach in San Francisco leads the Californian antitrust practice at O’MELVENY & MYERS. The team lost partner Bo Pearl to Paul Hastings in June 2020 but has added former DOJ prosecutor Anna Pletcher as a partner. The group also recently promoted Zhao Liu from associate to counsel. The firm is defending Bitcoin.com in civil antitrust litigation brought by UnitedCorp in the first-ever federal antitrust complaint related to the cryptocurrency market. UnitedCorp alleges that Bitcoin.com used unfair practices to gain control of a cryptocurrency network, but the latter has asked a Florida federal court to dismiss the claims, arguing that its actions promoted competition in the cryptocurrency market. At the time of writing, a decision was pending on a motion to dismiss UnitedCorp’s amended complaint.
O’Melveny acted for Endo Pharmaceuticals in a monopolisation lawsuit alleging its subsidiary Par Pharmaceutical denied Fresenius entry into the market for Vasopressin injections through anticompetitive exclusive agreements. A New Jersey federal judge granted summary judgment in favour of Par in February 2020. O’Melveny is representing a new entrant in music licensing, Global Music Rights, in its antitrust lawsuit against the Radio Music Licensing Committee – which appears to be headed to trial. It is also defending Jayson Penn, former chief executive of Pilgrim’s Pride, against price-fixing charges brought by the DOJ’s antitrust division. Additionally, the firm is acting for ROHM in the Capacitors antitrust litigation, for Samsung in the DRAM antitrust litigation and for US Airways in its lawsuit against Sabre.
United States: New York
Partners Andrew Frackman and Edward Moss lead O’MELVENY & MYERS’ New York-based team, which includes counsel Laura Aronsson, who joined the firm in August 2019. Ben Bradshaw and Ian Simmons co-chair the wider group from Washington, DC. Much of the New York team’s work is situated in the financial and pharmaceutical sectors, although the firm has notably acted for US Airways in its fight with global distribution system Sabre. The airline is accused of illegally inflating the price of bookings made through its ticketing agency. O’Melveny helped US Airways secure a favourable jury verdict in 2016, but the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reversed and remanded the case in light of the Supreme Court’s Amex decision. The parties are preparing to relitigate the clams at trial.
The team is also defending CR Bard against a pair of lawsuits brought by AngioDynamics and North Brevard County Hospital. Both plaintiffs allege that CR Bard violated US antitrust law by tying the sale of its tip location systems to the sale of certain catheters. Other notable work includes representing Royal Bank of Canada against class actions alleging a conspiracy among marketers of variable rate demand obligations. O’Melveny acts for plaintiff Realogy in its exclusive contracting lawsuit against Urban Compass before a New York state court and also defends Endo Pharmaceuticals in reverse-payment settlement claims involving Seroquel XR.
United States: Washington, DC
DC-based partners Ben Bradshaw and Ian Simmons co-chair the global competition practice at O’MELVENY & MYERS. On behalf of Bitcoin.com and other defendants, the firm in February 2020 secured the dismissal of what it says was the first antitrust case involving cryptocurrency. United American claimed that the defendants conspired to manipulate the market for bitcoin by implementing software that altered the cryptocurrency’s value. Other notable court work includes securing a motion to dismiss from a federal court in the Humira antitrust litigation in June 2020, which is the first antitrust case involving biosimilars. The plaintiffs claimed that AbbVie and its licensees, including O’Melveny client Samsung Bioepis, engaged in illegal anticompetitive conduct by paying to delay the entry of biosimilars into the US market. The plaintiffs appealed against the court’s decision to the US Court of Appeals to the Seventh Circuit in July 2020.
On the merger side, the firm represented Charles Schwab in its acquisition of TD Ameritrade. Following a second request, the DOJ told Schwab in June 2020 that it had closed its investigation into the transaction, allowing the deal to move forward. O’Melveny also advised Harry’s during the FTC’s review of the male shaving company’s sale to Edgewell Personal Care for $1.4 billion. The parties abandoned the transaction after the agency filed a complaint to block the deal.