Political and societal scepticism of consolidation and the market power of large companies has grown significantly. Getting a deal done is no longer just a matter of a compelling financial rationale and sound legal strategy. Navigating multiple regulatory, political and communications challenges can be crucial to obtaining regulatory approval while preserving the value of a transaction.
Business today is facing a wave of growing antitrust regulatory scrutiny around the world, with regulators raising antitrust concerns that are both more stringent and sometimes diverging. Employees, competitors, shareholders and politicians alike now question the practices of certain actors, driving political and regulatory scrutiny. In parallel, regulators are taking a harder stance on screening foreign direct investment (FDI), based in some cases on newly enacted national security and related laws, with the objective to preserve “the public interest”.
As a result, the challenges facing business in securing antitrust and FDI approvals or responding to antitrust investigations are growing, increasing uncertainty for companies. The ‘case universe’ of potential stakeholders in a merger or investigation, both positive and negative, is now much larger than ever.
How we Support Clients
Brunswick’s practice supports clients through merger control and foreign investment reviews, as well as market investigations. Our practice team combines a full technical knowledge of the legal processes involved, long-time expertise in M&A, litigation and (geo)political situations, and a deep bench of experts formerly from antitrust and competition agencies, law firms, government and business. We work in close partnership with clients and their appointed legal counsel to provide public affairs and communications support that creates an informed, balanced and positive environment for the regulatory approval process.
Specifically, we help clients identify and engage stakeholders such as competitors, customers, suppliers, government and media to craft compelling messages and design engagement strategies to effectively communicate the benefits of the proposed transaction. In today’s challenging environment, this approach is specifically designed to maximise the chances of success across multiple stages in the multijurisdictional regulatory process. In a global transaction, this requires a tailored strategic approach with round the clock support.
In addition, our senior team, which has broad experience working in and with regulatory bodies at a senior level, can act as a valuable sounding board for corporates as they refine and implement their regulatory and communications strategies. This can prove especially crucial in the context of global transactions, where navigating the complex regulatory landscapes of multiple jurisdictions demands a well-coordinated, insightful and thoughtful approach.
We also have extensive experience in supporting clients in national and international antitrust investigations. In those cases, managing the communications challenges for customer, employee and shareholder stakeholders are particularly important. Such investigations can be drawn out and require the maintenance of focus and a regular review of strategy ahead of new milestones. Our senior team can also assist in developing and testing the overall response strategy.
We support clients in all major antitrust jurisdictions, including the U.S., EU, U.K., and China in a fully coordinated global approach. Our team has been involved in some of the most challenging global regulatory situations in recent years.