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Antitrust Scrutiny of Vertical Mergers and Vertical Agreements in 2019

(871 reviews)

Produced on February 21, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 31m
Difficulty Intermediate
Topics covered in this course: Antitrust

Course Description

Recent high-profile vertical mergers such as AT&T/Time Warner, CVS/Aetna, and CIGNA/Express Scripts have thrust such vertical deals back into the antirust spotlight. There continues to be much debate about how such mergers are to be analyzed, as evidenced by the U.S. Department of Justice’s appeal of the decision in AT&T/Time Warner and by the vigorous debate at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop discussing the need for updated agency guidelines to address vertical mergers.

This course, presented by Craig G. Falls of Dechert LLP, will address how such mergers are likely to be analyzed by the agencies, how such analysis compares to trends in antitrust analysis of vertical agreements outside the merger context, and what merging parties should do to avoid potential blind spots as to the vertical risks implicated by their contemplated transactions.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify the theories of antitrust harm concerning vertical mergers
  2. Discuss how such theories affected several recent high-profile (as well as certain lesser known) merger reviews
  3. Compare the merits of the various analytical frameworks being proposed for vertical mergers
  4. Review how vertical merger analysis compares to antitrust scrutiny of vertical agreements generally
  5. Develop a checklist of items for merging parties to consider when considering a potential merger with an entity operating at a different level of the distribution chain

Credit Information

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Craig Falls

Dechert LLP

Craig G. Falls helps companies obtain antitrust clearances for mergers and acquisitions, and defends transactions in litigation when necessary. He also advises companies on how to structure their joint ventures, licensing arrangements, and other commercial agreements to minimize antitrust risk, and has represented companies in conduct investigations by antitrust enforcers and in Sherman Act litigation brought by private plaintiffs. Craig has served clients in a wide variety of industries, including consumer packaged goods, retail and internet, supermarkets, pharmaceuticals, transportation, and energy.

Mr. Falls regularly counsels clients and has published frequently on questions concerning the application of antitrust law to distribution agreements, pricing practices, and other relationships between companies operating at different levels of the supply chain. He also has an active pro bono practice, which includes representing the homeless and victims of human trafficking, and helping to obtain a trial victory for plaintiffs challenging Wisconsin’s photo identification voter law.


Jeremy S.

Thought it would be boring, but it wasn't! Now smarter.

Robert L.

Content of this CLE was highly useful and thorough.

Patrick M.

The presenter could be a little halting but the materials and his grasp of them was superb.

Georgian P.

Excellent Presentation! Very interesting and informative Speaker!

Charles W.

Very comprehensive and enlightening.

June M.

Excellent presenter

Sheldon M.

Good course.

Joan R.

this had really good content

Michael G.


James B.

Very knowledgeable.

Gary L.

Was overall great!


Very informative and easy to understand.

James Y.

Great depth and materials.

Kristin W.


ken b.

good one

Kim K.

Good and timely content!

Thomas K.

Wow, this presenter really knows antitrust law!!

Maureen M.

best written materials I have seen in some time. Appreciate it.

Derek C.


William S.

Thank you for a fine overview of antitrust law.

Nicholas P.

Craig did a great job!

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