Maurice Stucke: Looking at Monopsony in the Mirror 62 Emory L.J. 1509 (2013)

Although still a distant second to monopoly, buyer power and monopsony are hot topics in the competition community. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Competition Network (ICN), and American Antitrust Institute (AAI) have studied monopsony and buyer power recently. The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission pay more attention to buyer power in their 2010 merger guidelines than they did in their earlier guidelines. With growing buyer concentration in commodities such as coffee, tea, and cocoa, and among retailers, buyer power is a human rights issue. (Continue Reading)

More Biographical Information for Maurice E. Stucke

Allen Grunes quoted regarding Publicis-Omnicom Merger in Bloomberg News

Allen Grunes shared his perspective with Bloomberg News regarding the proposed Publicis-Omnicom Merger.  Click Below:

Publicis-Omnicom Merger Seen as Drawing Antitrust Look

Allen Grunes Quoted in Washington Post: “AT&T Bid for Leap Wireless Seen Winning U.S. Regulatory Approval”

Allen Grunes was asked for his views on the proposed merger of AT&T and Leap Wireless International.  (Grunes and Maurice Stucke were the authors of an influential antitrust analysis of the attempted AT&T/T-Mobile merger in 2011.)  Please click on the linked article below:

AT&T Bid for Leap Wireless Seen Winning U.S. Regulatory Approval




Violations Occurred When Diller Acquired Voting Securities of The Coca Cola Company

WASHINGTON — Corporate investor Barry Diller will pay a $480,000 civil penalty to settle charges that he violated premerger reporting and waiting requirements when he acquired voting securities of The Coca Cola Company, the Department of Justice announced today.

The Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, at the request of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., against Diller for violating the notification requirements of the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) Act of 1976.  At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, will settle the charges.

The HSR Act of 1976, an amendment to the Clayton Act, imposes notification and waiting period requirements on individuals and companies over a certain size before they consummate acquisitions resulting in holding stock or assets above a certain value, which at the time of Diller’s violations ranged from $63.4 million to $68.2 million and is currently $70.9 million.

Federal courts can assess civil penalties for premerger notification violations under the HSR Act in lawsuits brought by the Department of Justice.  For a party in violation of the HSR Act the maximum civil penalty is $16,000 a day

Maurice E. Stucke Curriculum Vitae

Maurice E. Stucke Curriculum Vitae (pdf)

Leading Antitrust Lawyers and DOJ Alumni Allen P. Grunes and Maurice E. Stucke Join GeyerGorey LLP

GeyerGorey LLP is pleased to announce that two veteran Department of Justice prosecutors, Allen P. Grunes and Maurice E. Stucke, have joined the firm.  Grunes, recently named as a “Washington D.C. Super Lawyer for 2013” in antitrust litigation, government relations, and mergers & acquisitions, joins as a partner.  Stucke, a widely-published professor with numerous honors including a Fulbright fellowship, joins as of counsel.  Stucke will continue to teach at the University of Tennessee College of Law.

“We are delighted that Allen and Maurice have decided to join us,” said Brad Geyer.  “They add considerable fire power to our already impressive antitrust, compliance and white collar roster and give us more capabilities and capacity, particularly on the civil side.”

Robert Zastrow, who was Verizon’s Assistant General Counsel for 15 years before co-founding the firm in October 2012, added, “Allen’s and Maurice’s extensive background and expertise nicely complement our firm’s unique philosophy and enrich our competition and merger practices.  We are thrilled they are joining our innovative effort in delivering legal services.”

GeyerGorey LLP presents a new way to practice law.  It may be the only law firm in the country where prior federal prosecutorial experience is a prerequisite for partnership.  Given its lawyers’ extensive legal expertise, GeyerGorey can handle trials involving the most complex legal and factual issues, and, when advantageous, work with other law firms, economists and specialists, particularly former federal prosecutors and agents, who bolster existing resources, expertise and constantly freshen perspective.  As founding partner Hays Gorey added, “We seek to avoid the traditional hierarchal partner-associate pyramid, hourly billing fee structure, and practice fiefdoms.  We want to attract entrepreneurial lawyers, like Allen and Maurice, who love competition policy and practicing law.  Having worked with them at DOJ, I am excited about the expertise and enthusiasm they bring to our clients.”

Consistent with GeyerGorey’s philosophy, both Grunes and Stucke are alumni of the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, in Washington, D.C.  At DOJ, they led numerous civil investigations, worked on high-profile trials, and negotiated consent decrees involving significant divestitures across many different industries.  In their last case together at the Division, In re Visa Check/MasterMoney Antitrust Litigation, they successfully sought, as a matter of equity and the first time in the Division’s history, for the government’s share of damages in a private class action settlement.

Grunes and Stucke are regarded as leading authorities on competition policy in the media.  Their scholarship on media and telecommunications policy has been published in the Antitrust Law Journal, the Northwestern University Law Review, the Connecticut Law Review, the Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, and the Federal Communications Law Journal.  They have spoken at numerous conferences on competition policy and the media, including the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s workshop, How Will Journalism Survive the Internet Age?  Both are frequently quoted in the press on mergers and anticompetitive conduct.  In addition, both serve on the advisory boards of the American Antitrust Institute and the Loyola Institute for Consumer Antitrust Studies in Chicago.

Allen Grunes joins GeyerGorey from another Washington, D.C. firm, where he was a shareholder.  His recent matters include acting as class counsel in litigation against several hospitals and an association in Arizona that allegedly artificially depressed the rates paid to temporary nurses, opposing the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile for a coalition of companies including DISH Network, and representing Warner Music Group in connection with the merger of Universal and EMI.  He has counseled dozens of companies and associations on antitrust issues and corporate mergers.  He also serves as chair of the antitrust committee of the Bar Association of the District of Columbia.

Maurice Stucke is a tenured professor at the University of Tennessee and a leading competition law scholar.  With over 30 articles and book chapters, Stucke has been invited by competition authorities from around the world and the OECD to speak about behavioral economics and competition policy.  He currently is one of the United States’ non-governmental advisors to the International Competition Network, the only international body devoted exclusively to competition law enforcement.  His scholarship has been cited by the U.S. federal courts, the OECD, competition agencies and policymakers.

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., GeyerGorey specializes in white collar criminal defense, particularly investigations and cases involving allegations of economic crimes, such as violations of the federal antitrust laws (price fixing, bid rigging, territorial and customer allocation agreements), procurement fraud, securities fraud, foreign bribery (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) and qui tam (False Claims Act) and whistleblower actions.  The firm also conducts internal investigations of possible criminal conduct and provides advice regarding compliance with U.S. antitrust and other laws.

***Antitrust Monitor (2 of 2)*** Informal Blog Post by Robert Zastrow regarding Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Proposed Acquisition of Grupo Modelo

Today’s Wall Street Journal article regarding Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Proposed Acquisition of Grupo Modelo ( US Fights AB InBev With Tested Game Plan by Brent Kendall), brought back memories of my life before Verizon when I was general counsel to the New York State Beer Wholesalers’ Association and prosecuting attorney in connection with the Heileman Schlitz merger.
I commend Mr. Kendall’s article, which emphasizes the degree to which DOJ now relies on “hot documents” in merger cases.  In this particular case, DOJ cites emails in which AB executives worried about pricing pressure from Modelo.  The key issue is likely to be whether Modelo was a cause for particular concern, or whether other premium brands, e.g. Heineken, posed similar issues, not because the premium brands were sold at the same price as Bud, but because if the gap between Bud and Modelo narrowed, customers would trade up.  Presumably, this would not include construction workers such as my wife’s crew chief, who had a large Bud tattoo on his right arm!
This article underscores the importance of early attorney involvement in merger planning.  How easier it would have been for AB had the lawyers emphasized the importance of documents to the marketing and sales staffs.  And, even if the company seeks counsel later, it is never a bad idea for counsel to get the files from a small number of marketing and sales executives to see what they say about the target.   Acquirers can pay premiums reaching the billions if a merger does not consummate, and an early assessment of the risk caused by bad documents is essential.
I vividly recall sitting on a panel in the mid 90’s with a former AAG, who shall go nameless.  He assured the audience that corporate counsel would soon develop procedures for monitoring emails and insuring that incriminating statements were not recorded.  The Bar did not realize then how ubiquitous electronic communications would become — there was barely an Internet then — and how difficult it would be to monitor hundreds of executives who were generating content at their computers all day.

GeyerGorey LLP quoted regarding Cisco and Meraki merger and its effect on the wireless market

GeyerGorey LLP quoted on Cisco-Meraki Merger:

20-11-12 Cisco-Meraki announce

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