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Jim O’Connell advises clients on their critical antitrust matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and other transactions; licensing arrangements and other business practices; government investigations; and litigation. In connection with his merger practice, he also regularly helps clients assess and comply with their obligations under the HSR Act and comparable merger control regimes around the world.

  • Successfully represented Discovery, Inc. in its $14.6 billion acquisition of Scripps Networks Interactive. The transaction closed after a “second request” investigation with the DOJ taking no action.
  • Advised Canadian aircraft manufacturer Bombardier regarding the worldwide antitrust clearance of its sale of a controlling interest in the “C Series” line of commercial passenger jets to Airbus. The transaction was cleared without any second-phase investigations.
  • Successfully defended Baosteel Group in proceedings brought by U.S. Steel before the International Trade Commission alleging antitrust violations of Section 337 of the Tariff Act. The Covington team obtained dismissal of the antitrust claims by the administrative law judge, earning recognition by American Lawyer as "Litigators of the Week." Following an appeal that included an unusual day-long oral argument, the Commission voted to affirm that dismissal. In a decision consistent with the arguments presented by the Covington team, the Commission determined that a complainant alleging a violation of Section 337 based on antitrust law must plead and prove antitrust injury. This was a case of first impression for the ITC.
  • Advised Facebook in several transactions, including its $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, and $1 billion acquisition of Instagram.
  • Represented Takata Corporation regarding its acquisition by Key Safety Systems.
  • Representation of Verizon Communications in obtaining merger review clearance for several transactions, including the acquisition of AOL.


  • Medical device and equipment company Stryker Corporation, in obtaining merger review clearance for several transactions, including its acquisition of Novadaq Technologies.
  • Altice N.V., regarding its $9 billion acquisition of Suddenlink Communications and its $17 billion acquisition of Cablevision.
  • Exxon Mobil, regarding its $41 billion acquisition of XTO Energy, at the time the largest transaction in the history of the natural gas industry.
  • China National Tire & Rubber Co. regarding its $7.7 billion acquisition of Italian tire manufacturer Pirelli.
  • Qualcomm in connection with its acquisition of CSR plc.
  • Telx Group, the data center, colocation, and interconnection company, in its acquisition by Digital Realty.
  • Advised ITOCHU Corp. regarding several transactions.
  • Chemtrade Logistics Inc. in connection with its $860 million acquisition of General Chemical Corp.
  • MDA Corp. regarding the clearance of its acquisition of Space Systems/Loral.
  • China Investment Corporation regarding investments in the U.S.
  • Oilfield services company Ameron International regarding its acquisition by National Oilwell Varco.
  • Joy Global (now part of Komatsu Ltd.) in connection with several transactions, including its acquisition of LeTourneau Technologies from Rowan Companies and its sale of LeTourneau’s drilling systems and offshore products businesses to Cameron International.


  • Advise a leading biotechnology company regarding intellectual property licensing and transactional matters.
  • Advise one of the world’s largest financial exchanges regarding various transactional, investigation, and compliance matters.
  • Advising a major international information technology company regarding antitrust compliance, transactions, and other competition issues, including those related to teaming agreements and government contracting.
  • Advised a significant developer and licensor of standard-essential technology regarding its intellectual property licensing program.
  • Advised broadcast television and other media companies regarding antitrust compliance and other competition issues.
  • Regularly counsel clients regarding potential competition law issues arising under China’s Anti-Monopoly Law.
  • Develop successful and cost-effective strategies for responding to requests for information from the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission.

Litigation and Investigations

  • Advised a leading U.S. technology innovator regarding an investigation of its intellectual property licensing practices by China’s National Development and Reform Commission.
  • Advised a leading technology company in connection with U.S. antitrust and patent infringement litigation arising out of the assertion of standard-essential patents subject to a FRAND commitment.
  • Representation of Expedia in connection with the Antitrust Division’s investigation of the Google/ITA Software transaction and the Federal Trade Commission’s investigation of Google’s search-related conduct.

Pro Bono

  • Represented the executor of the estate of a mentally ill individual who died while in custody at the Alexandria Adult Detention Center (Walker v. Correct Care Solutions, LLC).
  • Advised the Rainforest Alliance regarding various matters.
  • Advised the Mountaineering Section of the Potomac Appalachian Trail Club regarding various matters.

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Non-Governmental Advisor, International Competition Network
  • Member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law and Member of the Advisory Board on Section Reserves
  • Instructor, University of Virginia Law School (Advanced Antitrust Seminar)
  • Board Member, Friends of Francis Field
  • Legal 500 US, Antitrust - Merger Control (2017)
  • Recognized by The Am Law Litigation Daily as one of the "Litigators of the Week" (11/18/2016) 
  • China Law & Practice, “Outbound Deal of the Year” (2016) 
  • Washington DC Super Lawyers, Antitrust Litigation