Gibson Dunn, Latham advise Broadcom on FTC antitrust settlement

Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Signage is seen at the Federal Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 29, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly
  • Gibson's new antitrust co-chair was on the team for semiconductor maker
  • Broadcom disputed anticompetitive claims

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Latham & Watkins represented Broadcom Inc in an antitrust settlement announced on Friday that requires the semiconductor maker to stop demanding that its customers buy source components from the California-based tech company.

The Federal Trade Commission said in bringing its action against Broadcom that the agency was "pushing back against strong-arm tactics by a monopolist in important markets for key broadband components." In a statement, Broadcom disputed the FTC's claim that the company's anticompetitive behavior required its customers to purchase source components exclusively or mostly from Broadcom, and it disagreed with the agency's characterization of its business.

Washington, D.C.-based Gibson Dunn partner Stephen Weissman, co-chairman of the firm's antitrust and competition practice, was on the team for Broadcom, according to the proposed consent order.

Weissman and fellow former Baker Botts partner Michael Perry joined the firm in March as part of a wave of new hiring in the antitrust space. Weissman formerly was a deputy director of the FTC's competition bureau. Perry earlier served as counsel to the director of the FTC competition bureau.

San Francisco-based Latham antitrust partner Daniel Wall also was on the team for Broadcom. Wall, a former chairman of the firm's antitrust practice, worked with Latham litigation partner Joshua Holian, who focuses on antitrust.

Representatives from Gibson Dunn and Latham declined to comment.

Latham, like Gibson Dunn, made antitrust-focused hires in recent months as the new Biden administration put renewed attention on competition-related enforcement.

In March, Latham said it hired Ian Conner from the FTC, where he had been the competition bureau director. Conner oversaw the agency's filing of an antitrust case in Washington federal trial court against Facebook Inc. A judge last month dismissed the FTC's case but gave the agency until July 29 to bring any new complaint.

Lawyers from Latham are representing insurance broker Aon plc in the Justice Department's antitrust suit seeking to block the company's $30 billion bid for Willis Towers Watson. Six partners, including Conner, have made appearances.

FTC attorney Kathleen Clair of the competition bureau signed the Broadcom consent order with Mark Woodward, the bureau's deputy assistant director; Geoffrey Green, assistant director of the bureau; and Maribeth Petrizzi, acting director of the bureau.

The case is In the matter of Broadcom Inc, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, No. 181-0205.

For Broadcom: Stephen Weissman of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, and Daniel Wall of Latham & Watkins

For the FTC: Kathleen Clair, Mark Woodward, Geoffrey Green and Maribeth Petrizzi

Read more:

US FTC files proposed settlement with Broadcom

New FTC chief Khan names some top staffers, including competition chief

Facebook hits $1 trillion value after judge rejects antitrust complaints

Aon turns to Latham antitrust team for $30 bln DOJ merger battle

Firms pack antitrust practices with former officials as Biden era promises fresh probes

Note: This story has been updated to reflect that lawyers from Latham declined to comment.

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