Federal Trade Commission

As Wilson Sonsini’s clients encounter regulatory hurdles involving the Federal Trade Commission, they often consult with our team of attorneys who have extensive experience advising companies on FTC-related matters. The team includes former high-level FTC officials; one attorney previously served as director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, while another was formerly director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition.

Our FTC experience stretches across several practice disciplines, but in line with recent regulatory trends, the firm has been particularly active—and successful—in the following areas:

  • Antitrust (M&A-related HSR reviews, anticompetition clearance, and anticompetitive practices)
  • Consumer regulatory and privacy (including FTC investigations and inquiries)
  • False or deceptive advertising claims


Merger-Related Hart-Scott-Rodino Reviews and Anticompetition Clearance

Wilson Sonsini has a proven record of helping clients obtain FTC clearance as they pursue M&A or other transactions requiring agency approval.

Few if any other law firms in the U.S. can match our success in obtaining favorable outcomes before the FTC in connection with technology-related M&A transactions. To date, we successfully have defended more than 1,000 Hart-Scott-Rodino-reportable M&A transactions before the FTC and DOJ, and none of our clients has ever abandoned a merger or acquisition or had it blocked as a result of action by either agency.

With a global network of offices in the U.S., the European Union, and China, our team is well equipped to handle complex multi-jurisdictional mergers that entail FTC review. For example, Wilson Sonsini represented Seagate Technology in its $1.4 billion acquisition of the hard-disk-drive (HDD) business of Samsung Electronics, a transaction that combined two leading HDD manufacturers. The deal, which had global implications, was reviewed by more than 12 jurisdictions and received significant scrutiny from agencies in numerous geographies, including the FTC. Wilson Sonsini’s team won a 2012 “Matter of the Year” award from Global Competition Review for our representation of Seagate in the matter.

Wilson Sonsini has successfully represented clients before the FTC in connection with M&A transactions for several reasons. First, our attorneys communicate clearly and convincingly with the FTC as to what is driving our clients’ M&A interests, as well as the relative marketplace impact, because we have a thorough understanding of their businesses, growth strategies, and markets. Such explanations are often a key factor in obtaining clearance from the FTC.

Second, attorneys in Wilson Sonsini’s M&A and litigation practices collaborate on how to best demonstrate the dynamics of a deal to the FTC and other agencies. Paired with our comprehensive understanding of each client’s business, our teamwork helps clients position themselves in the most advantageous way possible to secure approval.

See Federal Trade Commission Practice on wsgr.com