Mr. Wolfram has represented U.S. and foreign (Canadian, British, French, Swedish and German) companies and other entities on antitrust matters in such industries/markets as agriculture, telecommunications and media, electricity, financial services, computers and information technology, manufacturing and production, pharmaceuticals and health care, education-related technology, ocean shipping, office products, food service products, clothing and sports.
He practices before federal and state antitrust enforcers and in federal and state courts and engages in private counseling, as well as participation in amicus briefs on antitrust matters, including standard setting and alleged collusion in the setting of financial benchmarks.
Matters commenced in the last several years include represention of third-party intervenors in several major mergers reviewed by the DOJ; federal suits and other initiatives involving claims of exclusive dealing, tying, monopolization and concerted refusal to deal, as well as intellectual property-based defenses to such claims; and counseling an Internet standard setting association, a major medical device trade association and a multinational liquor bottler on antitrust compliance and other issues. He also regularly consults for financial firms seeking advice for investment purposes on various antitrust matters (e.g., most recently (12/17), the DOJ’s suit to enjoin the proposed AT&T-Time Warner merger: he predicted the suit would fail, as it did in the district court, and as the court of appeals affirmed).
Current and Recent Matters
Current and recent work includes representation of:
- An agricultural products manufacturer on domestic and international distribution questions (August 2021).
- A U.S. pharmaceutical company regarding resale price provisions in marketing agreement (August 2021).
- A U.S.-based independent repair association, regarding antitrust implications of suppression of independent repair in consumer electronics (March 2021 – present).
- A major tech company, on standard setting organization governance issues (May 2019).
- A U.S. company alleging tying, exclusive dealing and monopolization in a consumer services industry (Jan. 2019 – ).
- The U.S. division of a European company for counseling on Robinson-Patman/price discrimination issues (August 2018).
- A major European vehicle manufacturer claimant regarding the international ‘Roll on-Roll off’ ocean shipping price-fixing and market division cartel (2016-17);
- Antitrust and economics scholars as amici urging reversal by Second Circuit Court of Appeals of the district court’s March 2013 dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims that defendant banks violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by fixing prices in the setting of LIBOR, the daily interbank interest rate benchmark — In Re LIBOR (2d Cir., 5/23/16) (reversing district court, per amicus brief and plaintiffs’ arguments);
- Rising Pharmaceuticals, a generics pharma company, in acquisition of specified generics required by FTC to be divested as condition of approval of merger of Endo International and Par Pharmaceuticals (Aug.-Sept. 2015; FTC provisionally accepted consent agreement Sept. 25th);
- Open-IX, a recently formed Internet standards development organization, focused on standards for data centers and internet exchange points, as antitrust counsel, including internal governance and initiation of and guidance through American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certification and ANSI American National Standards designation process (2013-2019) (www.open-ix.org);
- A Canadian private equity firm, on antitrust questions relating to an acquisition (2013);
- An ambulatory surgery clinic (ASC) as plaintiff in federal suit alleging exclusive dealing, tying and monopolization (2012-present); motion to dismiss by defendant healthcare provider denied (5/29/15); ASC’s opposition to defendant’s motion for summary judgment filed 12/15/17; summary judgment motion argued 4/10/18.
- An educational technology company regarding tying and intellectual property misuse claims in FTC investigation, first as complainant and then, after company acquired target of investigation, as respondent (2012-16); FTC investigation closed with favorable resolution for client, August 2016;
- A polystyrene food service products recycling company as plaintiff in a federal suit alleging a concerted refusal to deal (2012-2017); dismissal by federal district court reversed by panel of First Circuit, June 2013; defendants’ motions for summary judgment granted July 2015; appeal filed November 2015, argued May 2016; summary judgment affirmed by panel of First Circuit, August 2016; petition for rehearing denied, October 2016; petition for certiorari filed with Supreme Court, March 2017; amicus brief signed by 12 professors of antitrust and economics supporting petition for certiorari filed with Supreme Court, April 2017; reply brief in response to Respondents’ Opposition, filed Sept. 15, 2017; petition for certiorari denied, Oct. 2017.
- An office products manufacturer objecting to the $500M+ 3M-Avery Denison office products merger, which the parties withdrew in the face of a DOJ suit to enjoin the merger (2012);
- A European-based multinational manufacturer and developer of set-top box technology regarding $5B Cisco-NDS merger (approved by DOJ) (2012);
- Health care products supply chain trade association — antitrust compliance counseling (2012-13);Multinational liquor bottler — counseling on joint venture, interlocking director and other antitrust issues (2013);
- Flash memory technology manufacturer regarding alleged patent misuse and antitrust violations by patentee through licensing practices;
- A trade association regarding possible collusion to limit competition from association members;
- European-based manufacturer of hydroponics — counseling on distribution;
- The American Antitrust Institute, the Consumer Federation of America and the Public Patent Foundation, as principal author of an amicus brief submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of the FTC’s petition for certiorari in its antitrust standard setting case against Rambus, Inc. (The Court denied the petition in Feb. 2009.);
- Physician and patient association complainants with respect to antitrust investigation and settlement (May 1, 2008) by the Connecticut Attorney General of alleged abuse of standard setting in the development of guidelines by the Infectious Diseases Society of America for the treatment of Lyme disease, including ongoing issues regarding the application and implementation of the settlement agreement;
- The American Antitrust Institute, in a petition to the FTC regarding alleged antitrust patent ‘hold-up’ through standard setting of federally mandated digital television conversion (see media links here and here) and in a public comment to the FTC regarding settlement with Negotiated Data Solutions (with David Balto);
- A computer technology manufacturer, regarding patent misuse by technology patentee;
- Manufacturer-putative licensee, regarding possible antitrust claims against technology developer for patent hold-up in standard setting;
- Major t-shirt manufacturer — counseling on distribution;
- Plaintiff-competitor of major aggregator of bank rate information, in a pending antitrust suit in federal district court in New Jersey alleging monopolization and other horizontal and vertical distribution violations (2007-10);
- A European national tennis federation-member of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), the leading men’s professional tennis association, as unnamed (“John Doe”) defendant in a federal suit against the ATP alleging concerted refusal to deal by the association and its members, resulting in demotion of plaintiff’s tournament to lower level competition within the association;
- Various financial investment firms regarding government antitrust investigations of pending mergers (merger arbitrage), e.g., FTC investigation of WholeFoods/Wild Oats merger; DOJ investigation of merger in steel industry;
- A major U.S. video rental and retail provider in a Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) second request investigation.
Previous antitrust work includes representation of:
- Plaintiffs in a putative class-action price-fixing case;
- A telecommunications company in an HSR second request investigation of a major wireless communications merger;
- A UK manufacturer of wood preservative products in an HSR second request investigation and in follow-up private litigation;
- A rival software manufacturer and consortium of software manufacturers, in white papers and briefs with respect to the Department of Justice suit against Microsoft;
- A fiber optic communications company, on an antitrust counterclaim to a patent infringement suit;
- A major insurance company in a putative class-action price-fixing suit in Alabama state court;
- Companies in a variety of market sectors, on compliance counseling and presentations;
- Various existing and prospective joint ventures, regarding exclusionary access, standards-setting and related antitrust issues;
- A Japanese manufacturer, regarding patent misuse and licensing; and
- A major trade association, regarding membership rules.