Clearing Competition Concerns

    View Author October 2012

    Portfolio company violations of competition law can result in fines at the parent sponsor level, warn Squire Sanders antitrust lawyers Oliver Geiss and Will Sparks, who add that competition authorities have been more willing to look overseas to spot offenses.

    To the private equity investor, concerns about antitrust – evoking illicit deals in smoky rooms – can seem a world away. The fact is most private equity firms pay less attention than they should to the risks to which they are exposed. Liability for breaking competition law can be traced to the parents of companies in breach even if they knew nothing of the infringements, meaning that parents themselves can face fines, litigation and significant disruption.