Tuesday, July 1, 2014

DOJ Requests Labaton Sucharow Partner to Oversee Antitrust Action

NEW YORK (July 1, 2014) — The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) requested Jay L. Himes, Labaton Sucharow LLP partner and co-chair of the Firm's Antitrust & Competition Litigation practice, to serve as the monitoring trustee in Bazaarvoice, Inc.'s compliance with its obligations under the proposed final judgment in the DOJ's most recent merger victory after trial—United States of America v. Bazaarvoice, Inc., No. 13-cv-00133.

In 2013, the DOJ brought a civil antitrust case to unwind market-leading ratings and review platform provider Bazaarvoice's 2012 acquisition of its only significant competitor, PowerReviews, Inc., for approximately $168 million. Earlier this year, United States District Judge William H. Orrick ruled that the acquisition violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. To remedy the unlawful acquisition, Judge Orrick ordered Bazaarvoice to divest the PowerReviews assets that it acquired and to adhere to other requirements to replace the competition lost by the acquisition. The DOJ has approved Bazaarvoice agreement to divest the PowerReviews assets to Wavetable Labs, LLC, the parent company of Viewpoints, LLC.

In moving for Himes' approval, which the DOJ only pursues on a couple of cases per year, the DOJ noted that, prior to joining Labaton Sucharow, Himes was Chief of the Antitrust Bureau of the New York Attorney General's Office. In that position, he "played a key role in negotiating and enforcing the consent judgment that resolved the state and federal antitrust cases against Microsoft." The experience "in enforcing the complex and technical judgment in the Microsoft [monopolization] case," the DOJ added, "makes him particularly well suited to assist the United States in enforcing" the court's decree in the Bazaarvoice case as trustee. The term of the appointment would be four years.