May 5, 2008

Joint Bidding By Private Equity Firms: Federal Court Dismisses Private Antitrust Challenge

A few months ago, in the wake of the Department of Justice’s inquiry into alleged anti-competitive behavior among private equity firms, a handful of class actions have been filed alleging collusion among private equity firms (here is an example of a complaint from a Massachusetts lawsuit). These complaints generally alleged a conspiracy among private equity firms to rig bids or otherwise collude to suppress the prices paid in going-private transactions.

On February 21st, in what appears to be the first decision to address these issues, a district court dismissed an action – Pennsylvania Avenue Funds v. Edward J. Borey (W.D. Wash) – against two private equity firms that had joined forces in a bidding contest, concluding that the facts alleged did not establish a violation of the Sherman Act. We have posted a bunch of memos analyzing this decision in our “Antitrust” Practice Area.

The Williams Act – 40 Years Later!

On May 21st and 22nd, Georgetown University Law Center will be hosting a conference to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the Williams Act takeover regulations. The speakers and panelists will include members of the SEC staff, academics, financial journalists, international takeover regulators, practitioners, bankers, and Delaware judges. It’s free – but you still need to register (here is the agenda). If you have questions, contact Larry Center at

Earlier that week, the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance will be hosting a meeting of international takeover regulators at the Commission’s headquarters – so representatives from the U.K., Germany, France, Hong Kong, Australia and Japan will be at the conference, lunch and reception if you want to rub elbows with folks from other regulators.