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Gordon L. Lang



Gordon Lang represents clients in criminal and civil antitrust litigation, in matters before the federal antitrust and other enforcement agencies, in white-collar criminal cases and investigations, class actions, and other complex civil litigation. He is the team leader of the firm’s Antitrust, Regulatory and Unfair Trade Practices group and was appointed as a non-governmental advisor for the United States at the 2014 International Competition Network Cartel Workshop.  He recently represented an individual in the U.S. House of Representative’s impeachment investigation.

What do you focus on?

Antitrust

I am a former Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer and represent clients in the full range of antitrust matters:  criminal investigations and cases (including those involving alleged international cartels), class actions and other civil litigation, merger and non-merger investigations before federal and state enforcement agencies, internal compliance and counseling. My clients have included industrial and transportation concerns (such as MOL Logistics (Japan)), media companies (such as Gannett Co., Inc. and Stephens Media), tech firms (such as TDK Corporation), banks, waste disposal companies, construction firms, government contractors, and service providers and consumer products firms.

Criminal Antitrust

Consistent with the enforcement trend, much of my criminal antitrust practice focuses on the representation of foreign-based companies in a variety of industries who have allegedly participated in international cartels. I also represent U.S. companies and individuals in national and local criminal matters. I’ve successfully taken corporations through the DOJ’s leniency program.

Civil Antitrust Litigation

My civil litigation practice includes the defense of class action matters involving price-fixing and related claims, monopolization claims under Section 2 of the Sherman Act, anti-merger claims under Section 7 of the Clayton Act, and Robinson-Patman price-discrimination allegations. I’ve successfully defended clients in a number of cases involving the Newspaper Preservation Act.

Civil Government Investigations and Actions

I represent U.S. and non-U.S. clients in merger investigations (including second request investigations) and non-merger investigations before federal and state antitrust and other enforcement agencies.

Counseling and Compliance

Many times the most important work is in the planning. I work with clients to evaluate the antitrust issues involved in potential business matters and courses of conduct and find a strategy and solution to achieve their objectives. And to help clients avoid or evaluate potential problems, I provide antitrust training and conduct internal antitrust compliance investigations.

What do you see on the horizon?

The Biden Administration Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have pledged vigorous antitrust enforcement and a willingness to advance new theories or emphases.  It will be interesting to see the practical effects of those efforts—in both traditional and evolving businesses and markets—and how the courts will respond to them.  Criminal investigations and prosecutions will continue to be a key part of the DOJ agenda.

Selected Experience

  • Mergers and acquisitions, including successful representation of clients in second request investigations
  • Defense of corporations and individuals in grand jury investigations, including amnesty applications, criminal trials
  • Defense of clients in DOJ, Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state investigations
  • Successful defense of acquiring bank in DOJ merger investigation (2021)
  • County Waste & Recyc. Srv. v. Twin Bridges, 72 Misc. 3d.1271 (dismissal of antitrust counterclaims) (2021)
  • Successful representation of Gannett Co., Inc., in acquisition by New Media (2019)
  • Successful defense of TDK Corporation in FTC second request investigation of proposed acquisition of Hutchinson Technology, Inc. (2016)
  • Successful defense of Gannett Co., Inc., in DOJ second request investigation of acquisition of Journal Media Group (2016)
  • Representation of dairy cooperative in DOJ investigation of Danone’s acquisition of WhiteWave. The merging parties entered into a consent judgment with DOJ which was favorable to our client (2017)
  • Representation of W.B. Mason in FTC challenge to merger of rivals Staples and Office Depot (2016)
  • Representation of individual in U.S. House of Representatives impeachment investigation (2019)
  • Precision Associates, et al. v. Panalpina, et al. (SDNY) (defense of Japanese freight forwarder MOL Logistics and its U.S. subsidiary in antitrust class action)
  • Representation of Gannett Co., Inc., in DOJ investigation of Belo acquisition (2013)
  • Greenspun, et al. v. Stephens Media, et al. 2:13-cv-01494 (D. Nev. 2013) (denial of motion for preliminary injunction seeking to block termination of newspaper joint operating agreement)
  • Fleischman v. Albany Medical Center, et al. 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 57188 (N.D.N.Y. 2008) (requiring individual determination of damages in antitrust class action)
  • State of Arizona v. Gannett Co., Inc., et al. (D. Ariz. May 2009) (denial of motion for temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction seeking to bar closure of Tucson Citizen; state subsequently dismissed case)
  • The Diamond Center, Inc. v. Leslie’s Jewelry Mfg. Corp., 562 F. Supp. 2d 1009 (W.D. Wisc. 2008) (dismissing Robinson-Patman, unjust enrichment and promissory estoppel claims)
  • NewsOne Newspaper Distribution Service v. Gannett Satellite Information Network (D. Md., January 2008) (denying TRO sought against USA TODAY’s change in distribution system; plaintiff subsequently dismissed case)
  • Reilly v. MediaNews, et al., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 61696 (N.D. Cal. 2006) (denying request for TRO blocking acquisition of newspapers)
  • Mahaffey v. Detroit Newspaper Agency, 969 F. Supp. 446 (D. Mich. 1997), aff’d, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 25472 (6th Cir. 1998) (obtained summary judgment for defendant newspapers and their joint operating agency against price-fixing and output restriction claims)
  • Michigan Citizens for an Independent Press v. Thornburgh, 493 U.S.38 (1989) (decision upheld attorney general’s approval of application for antitrust exemption for joint newspaper operating arrangement between two daily newspapers in Detroit)
  • Corning v. Transitions (representation of plaintiff Corning in monopolization and exclusive dealing case)
  • Wright v. Gannett (defeat of motion to preliminarily enjoin newspaper’s change in distribution system; rebuff of class action allegations)
  • United States v. Title Insurance Rating Bureau of Arizona, 517 F. Supp.1053 (D. Ariz. 1981), aff’d, 700 F.2d 1247 (9th Cir. 1983) (prosecutor in action rejecting state action and McCarran-Ferguson defenses)
  • United States Optical v. Corning, 1994 U.S. App. LEXIS 259 (4th Cir. 1994) (summary judgment for defendant Corning against breach of contract, unfair competition, and other claims)
  • In re United States Optical, 1993 U.S. App. LEXIS 6960 (4th Cir. 1993) (upholding grant of involuntary bankruptcy petition)
  • Lucas v. Planning Board of LaGrange, 7 F. Supp.2d 310 (SDNY 1998) (defeating challenge to consent decree in Telecommunications Act case)

Articles and Presentations

  • Non-governmental advisor, 2014 International Competition Network Cartel Workshop
  • “Employees (and Others) Beware: DOJ Puts the Heat on No Employee Solicitation Agreements,” ABA Antitrust Section E-Bulletin, Spring 2011
  • “A Cold, Cold World: Nixing ‘No Cold-Call Agreements,” Law 360, October 14, 2010. (Coauthor with Jeffrey Tanenbaum)
  • “Grappling with Reach of Sherman Act in Suits by Non-U.S. Consumers,” New York Law Journal, August 11, 2003. (Coauthor with J. Kole)
  • “ALBRECHT after ARCO: Maximum Resale Price Fixing Moves toward the Rule of Reason,” 44 Vanderbilt L. Rev. 1007, 1991 (cited by the Supreme Court in State Oil Co. v. Khan, 522 U.S. 3 (1997)). (Coauthor with R. Blair)

The Federal Trade Commission continues to circle the Santa Monica-based video game developer's proposed merger with Microsoft

Dot LA | March 22, 2022

This article on the proposed $69 billion merger between Microsoft and video game developer Activision Blizzard quotes Washington, DC Complex Disputes partner and Antitrust team leader Gordon Lang on the relatively small percentage of overall mergers that receive a second look from the Federal Trade Commission, and the tendency for these types of requests to increase in relation to the deal size.

Microsoft's $68.7 billion bid for Activision leads biggest January deals

CQ Roll Call | February 04, 2022

This article highlighting Microsoft’s proposed $68.7 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard quotes Washington, DC Complex Disputes partner and Antitrust practice leader Gordon Lang on how a large price tag does not make a deal unlawful under antitrust law, noting that the issue to consider is whether competition would be harmed.

Why antitrust concerns won't block Microsoft's Activision acquisition

Dot LA | January 24, 2022

This article on Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard quotes Washington, DC Complex Disputes partner and Antitrust practice leader Gordon Lang on antitrust considerations and potential issues related to similar large-sized mergers and acquisitions. Esports & Gaming group leader and Los Angeles Labor & Employment associate Irene Scholl-Tatevosyan is quoted on the strength of competition among companies of all sizes in the gaming industry.

Deal Watch: Private equity hits new heights

The American Lawyer | November 22, 2021

This article on the surge in private equity deals includes NP for advising the owners of skin care brand Obagi in its $1.2 billion business combination agreement with Waldencast Acquisition Corp. and the spinoff of Obagi’s operations in China.

The NP team was led by David Cheng, chair and managing partner of the firm's China and Asia-Pacific practice, and New York City Corporate partners Michael Smith and Richard Langan. The team that advised Obagi also included Chicago Corporate partner David Brown, Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk, Washington, DC Complex Commercial Disputes partner and Antitrust team leader Gordon Lang, and Washington, DC Corporate senior counsel Kenneth Silverberg. Other members of the team included Boston Corporate associate Anthony Bova and Chinese legal consultant Kelly Xiang.

Four firms lead three-way SPAC to create new beauty platform

Bloomberg Law | November 18, 2021

This article covering a roughly $1.2 billion merger of skin care and beauty brands with a special purpose acquisition company mentions NP for advising the owners of skin care brand Obagi in its business combination agreement with Waldencast Acquisition Corp. and the spinoff of Obagi's operations in China.

The NP team was led by David Cheng, chair and managing partner of the firm's China and Asia-Pacific practice, and New York City Corporate partners Michael Smith and Richard Langan. The team that advised Obagi also included Chicago Corporate partner David Brown, Rochester Corporate partner Jeremy Wolk, Washington, DC Complex Commercial Disputes partner and Antitrust team leader Gordon Lang, and Washington, DC Corporate senior counsel Kenneth Silverberg. Other members of the team included Boston Corporate associate Anthony Bova and Chinese legal consultant Kelly Xiang.

US sets up antitrust whistleblower protections for workers

CQ Roll Call | February 22, 2021

Antitrust practice leader and Washington, D.C. Complex Commercial Disputes partner Gordy Lang is quoted in this article on a new law designed to prevent employers from retaliating against antitrust whistleblowers.

Congress lets leniency program for antitrust criminals lapse

CQ Roll Call | June 23, 2020

Washington, DC, Complex Commercial Disputes partner Gordon Lang, who leads the firm’s Antitrust, Regulatory and Unfair Trade Practices team, is quoted on the likelihood of Congress reauthorizing a leniency program for antitrust probes and why some large companies may at times be reluctant to come forward for fear of unnecessarily exposing themselves to civil liability risks.

Taxation with Representation

Law360 | August 09, 2019

This story highlights Nixon Peabody’s representation of Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, in its $1.38 billion merger with New Media Investment Group, parent of GateHouse Media LLC.

Deal Watch: More consolidation hits the newspaper business

American Lawyer | August 09, 2019

This story highlights Nixon Peabody’s representation of Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, in its $1.38 billion merger with New Media Investment Group, parent of GateHouse Media LLC.

Gatehouse parent to buy Gannett

The Deal | August 06, 2019

The following stories highlight Nixon Peabody’s representation of Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, in its $1.38 billion merger with New Media Investment Group, parent of GateHouse Media LLC.

4 firms steer $1.4B New Media, Gannett tie-up

Law360 | August 05, 2019

The following stories highlight Nixon Peabody’s representation of Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, in its $1.38 billion merger with New Media Investment Group, parent of GateHouse Media LLC.

Contact

Gordon L. Lang

Partner
Leader, Antitrust

Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8319


Fax: 202-585-8080

Harvard Law School, J.D., cum laude

University of Michigan, B.A., with high distinction

District of Columbia

New York

Illinois

U.S. Supreme Court

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