DOJ Successfully Challenges Non-HSR Reportable Bazaarvoice Merger


On January 8, 2014, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California held that Bazaarvoice, Inc.’s $168 million acquisition of PowerReviews violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Section 7 prohibits mergers whose effect “may be substantially to lessen competition, or to tend to create a monopoly.” To establish a Section 7 violation, the government need only show that there is a “reasonable likelihood” that the transaction will have anticompetitive effects. The court’s ruling followed a three-week trial that began on September 23, 2013.

Bazaarvoice, a social media marketing company, provides ratings and review platforms that allow online retailers to organize and display their customers’ product reviews. In June 2012, Bazaarvoice acquired PowerReviews in a transaction that did not trigger reporting requirements under the Hart-Scott Rodino (“HSR”) Antitrust Improvements Act. Two days after the transaction was consummated, the Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) launched an investigation and later filed a civil suit on January 10, 2013. In its complaint, the DOJ alleged that Bazaarvoice had acquired PowerReviews to eliminate its most significant competitive threat and to stem price competition, in violation of Section 7. As part of the relief sought, the DOJ requested that the court order divestitures of assets from the transaction consummated months earlier that would be “sufficient to create a separate, distinct, and viable competing business that can replace PowerReviews’ competitive significance in the marketplace.”

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

Written by:

Published In:


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© King & Spalding | Attorney Advertising

Don't miss a thing! Build a custom news brief:

Read fresh new writing on compliance, cybersecurity, Dodd-Frank, whistleblowers, social media, hiring & firing, patent reform, the NLRB, Obamacare, the SEC…

…or whatever matters the most to you. Follow authors, firms, and topics on JD Supra.

Create your news brief now - it's free and easy »

All the intelligence you need, in one easy email:

Great! Your first step to building an email digest of JD Supra authors and topics. Log in with LinkedIn so we can start sending your digest...

Sign up for your custom alerts now, using LinkedIn ›

* With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name.