Franchising, Antitrust and Trade Regulation

Representative Matters


Honigman provides antitrust and trade regulation advice to automotive and manufacturing clients on a broad range of matters related to state and federal regulation of business and competition, including antitrust, franchising, noncompetition agreements, trade secrets and unfair trade matters. Our efforts range from the structuring of transactions to litigating before judicial and regulatory bodies.

Our primary areas of focus are as follows:

Avoidance counseling – We counsel clients on how to avoid antitrust and trade regulation problems. We regularly advise our clients on the structure of transactions, distribution patterns, relationships with suppliers, and pricing policies.

Litigation – We litigate antitrust and trade regulation cases, representing both plaintiffs and defendants. We have litigated claims of monopolization, price fixing, tying, refusals to deal, price discrimination, dumping, enforcement of non-competition agreements, misappropriation of trade secrets, franchise law violations and resale price maintenance, among others. Our experience has ranged from relatively simple dealer termination cases to class actions and merger cases against the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission.

Government agency issues – We also have substantial experience in defending our clients against merger and conduct investigations by federal and state antitrust and other regulatory agencies. We have extensive experience in dealing with the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, including defense of major investigations before each agency. Our experience with the antitrust agencies has occurred at every level, from regional offices to the head of the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commissioners. We also have significant experience before offices of attorneys general in many different states.

Return to Automotive and Manufacturing

Representative Matters

  • Advised both franchisors and franchisees on contractual issues relating to federal franchise disclosure laws
  • Counseled national and multi-national franchisors preparing and reviewing franchise agreements, disclosure documentation and coordinating franchise registration throughout the United States
  • Represented an automotive manufacturer in dealer franchising cases throughout the U.S.
  • Defended claim regarding alleged boycott of manufacturing engineering trade show; Tradeshow Marketing, Inc. v. Society of Manufacturing Engineers
  • Represented Helmac in a suit, under the Antidumping Act of 1916, alleging Roth sold manufactured products in the U.S. at prices substantially below those at which it sold in Canada; Helmac Products v. Roth Plastics
  • Defended franchisee antitrust claims against franchisor; Bender v. Southland Corp
  • Defended FTC investigations of two mergers involving manufacturers of engine bearings
  • Defended investigation of mergers of companies involved in manufacturing of oil field services equipment and auto parts
  • Counseled numerous clients regarding Hart Scott Rodino filings
  • Defended Department of Justice investigation of automotive parts joint venture
  • U.S. antitrust and European competition law matters, with a particular focus on merger and regulatory work, representing clients before the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the European Commission