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Covington, Wachtell guide Salesforce on DOJ's antitrust review

4 minute read

Covington & Burling offices in Washington, D.C. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

  • Salesforce's $27 billion acquisition of Slack expected to close by July 21: SEC filing
  • Quinn Emanuel's antitrust head on team for Slack
  • DOJ asked the companies for additional material earlier in the year as part of a "second request"

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(Reuters) - Lawyers from Covington & Burling and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz advised Salesforce.com Inc on U.S. antitrust matters in the company's planned $27.7 billion acquisition of workplace messaging company Slack Technologies Inc, a deal that drew close scrutiny from the U.S. Justice Department but is expected to close by July 21.

The Justice Department told Slack and Salesforce on July 16 that antitrust investigators had closed their probe of the transaction, according to an SEC filing. Lawyers from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Goodwin Procter advised Slack on antitrust matters.

Representatives from Salesforce and Slack, and from the Justice Department, declined to comment. Private counsel involved in the review either declined to comment or did not return messages seeking comment.

Salesforce said in a February securities filing that the Justice Department's antitrust team asked for additional information and documentary material about the planned purchase of Slack. So-called "second requests" extend U.S. merger reviews. In the filing, Salesforce and Slack said they both cooperated "fully" with DOJ's review.

Covington partner James O'Connell in Washington, D.C., was on the antitrust team advising Salesforce, the cloud-computing company based in San Francisco, California. Covington's team also included of counsel Ross Demain.

O'Connell joined Covington in 2009 from the Justice Department, where he had served as deputy assistant attorney general overseeing antitrust matters including international, policy issues and appellate litigation.

Wachtell's team included Joseph Larson, who is of counsel with the firm.

For Slack, also based in San Francisco, the Quinn Emanuel antitrust team was led by partner Ethan Glass, chairman of the firm's antitrust investigation and government enforcement practice, and Trevor Soames, managing partner of the Brussels office.

Glass, a former assistant chief in the DOJ's antitrust division, joined Quinn Emanuel in 2016. Glass was on the Quinn Emanuel team in 2019 that advised eBay Inc on its $4.05 billion sale of StubHub to Viagogo Ltd.

Washington-based trial lawyer Mike Bonanno of Quinn Emanuel also was on the team advising Slack.

Goodwin partner Paul Jin in Washington counseled Slack on antitrust matters as part of the transaction. Jin joined the firm in 2018 from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where he had been a partner.

Salesforce said last year its acquisition of Slack would "create the operating system for the new way to work."

Read more:

Quinn Emanuel adds white-collar muscle with ex-DOJ fraud chief

Salesforce, Slack asked to provide additional information by DOJ's antitrust unit

Salesforce to buy workplace app Slack in $27.7 billion deal

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