Aidan Synnott

Co-Chair, Antitrust Practice Group at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Aidan Synnott

Aidan Synnott

Co-Chair, Antitrust Practice Group at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

Biography

A partner in the Litigation Department and co-chair of the Antitrust Practice Group, Aidan Synnott focuses on antitrust litigation and compliance, bankruptcy litigation and other complex commercial litigation.

EXPERIENCE

Chambers USA describes Aidan as a “‘high-class antitrust expert’ noted for his responsiveness and strategic decision-making.” He has extensive trial experience in state and federal courts as well as in alternative dispute resolution forums such as the American Arbitration Association. In addition, he frequently represents clients in antitrust investigations by the governmental agencies of the United States and the European Union.

Aidan’s antitrust litigation representations include:

* The Dow Chemical Company, along with its corporate parent company DowDuPont, in defense of multidistrict litigation alleging that Dow, together with several other manufacturers and sellers, conspired to raise prices for the sale of chemicals primarily used in the production of polyurethane products;
* Nomura Securities International, Inc. and Nomura Holdings, Inc. in securing the dismissal, along with other joint defense firms, of a consolidated class action alleging that Nomura and other major global financial institutions conspired to manipulate prices in the multitrillion-dollar global market for supranational, sub-sovereign and agency (SSA) bonds;
* The Nielsen Company, the leading provider of television ratings in the United States, in winning summary judgment before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, and confirming the victory on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in a monopolization case brought by Sunbeam Television Corp., the FOX affiliate station in Miami. Sunbeam had claimed that Nielsen’s rollout of a new ratings measurement methodology was a violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Sunbeam Television Corp. v. Nielsen Media Research, Inc., 763 F. Supp.2d 1341 (S.D. Fl. 2011), aff’d, 711 F.3d 1264 (11th Cir. 2013);
* Deutsche Bank in multi-regulator, multi-jurisdictional inquiries concerning the setting of numerous Interbank Offered Rates (IBORs) — the largest investigations ever faced by the bank — and in 50-plus individual and class actions concerning IBOR rates in multiple currencies;
* The successful defense of Dun & Bradstreet, ACNielsen and IMS Inc. in a federal antitrust action brought by a large competitor, obtaining dismissal of the case on a pre-trial motion. Information Resources, Inc. v. Dun & Bradstreet Corp., 359 F. Supp. 2d 307 (S.D.N.Y. 2004);
* For the New York City Transit Authority, obtaining dismissal of a claim for attempted monopolization of the market for bus simulators. Doron Precision Systems, Inc. v. FAAC, Inc., 423 F. Supp. 2d 173 (S.D.N.Y. 2006);
* Acumen Brands, Inc., a leading retailer of western apparel, in obtaining dismissal, with prejudice, of a monopolization case brought by a competitor. Sell It Social, LLC v. Acumen Brands, Inc., 2015-1 Trade Cases P 79,114 (S.D.N.Y. 2015);
* The defense of Sumitomo Chemical Company, one of the largest chemical companies in the world, in the vitamins price-fixing litigation. He has defended numerous other U.S. and foreign companies in cartel cases; and
* Pfizer Inc. in successful settlements of class and opt-out actions alleging $11 billion in damages for monopolization of the market for Neurontin, a Pfizer pharmaceutical, through an alleged pattern of meritless patent litigations.

Antitrust merger clearance and investigation representations Aidan has led include:

* IMG College, the collegiate division of Endeavor, in connection with the antitrust clearance process for its merger with Learfield Communications, bringing together two of sports’ largest multimedia rights and sponsorship businesses;
* CDK Global, Inc., a supplier of dealer management software used to car dealerships, in connection with:
* its proposed acquisition of Auto/Mate Dealership Systems; and
* its acquisition of ELEAD1ONE, a leading provider of fully integrated CRM software solutions to automotive dealers;

* Time Warner Cable in successfully resolving the Justice Department’s Second Request investigation of its proposed $78 billion acquisition by Charter Communications as well as in the prior abandoned proposal by Comcast Corporation to acquire it for $45 billion;
* Pace plc in a Justice Department Second Request investigation of its $2.1 billion acquisition by ARRIS Group Inc., where the Justice Department closed its investigation without imposing any conditions;
* Automatic Data Processing, Inc.:
* in a Second Request investigation by the Justice Department of its $500 million acquisition of a payroll and tax outsourcing competitor, ProBusiness, where the Justice Department closed its investigation without imposing any conditions; and
* as lead antitrust and M&A counsel, it its acquisition of Celergo, an Illinois-based provider of global payroll management services;

* Hewitt Associates Inc. in a Justice Department investigation of its proposed $4 billion acquisition by Aon, where the Justice Department closed its investigation without imposing any conditions;
* Westcoast Energy in a Justice Department investigation of its $8 billion acquisition by Duke Energy, where the Justice Department closed its investigation without imposing any conditions;
* The Nielsen Company in the FTC Second Request investigation of its proposed $1.25 billion acquisition of Arbitron, Inc., where the acquisition was approved in a consent decree which Aidan negotiated and which imposed minimal conditions; and
* Fidelity National Financial in the FTC Second Request investigation of its $3 billion acquisition of a title insurance competitor, Lender Processing Services, Inc., which was approved in a consent decree which Aidan negotiated and which required minimal divestitures.

Aidan’s recent bankruptcy representations include:

* Noranda Aluminum Holding Corp., a leading U.S. producer of primary aluminum foil products, and its wholly owned subsidiaries in their chapter 11 cases in the Eastern District of Missouri;
* AbitibiBowater Inc. in its chapter 11 case in the District of Delaware;
* Performance Sports Group in its chapter 11 case in the District of Delaware;
* The Official Committee of Paragon Offshore plc, a U.K. offshore drilling company servicing oil and gas companies with operations in Brazil, Mexico, the North Sea, the Middle East, and elsewhere, in connection with Paragon’s chapter 11 case in the District of Delaware; and
* PJT Partners, Inc. in collecting a bankruptcy fee in the chapter 11 case of Relativity Media in the Southern District of New York.

Aidan’s commercial litigation representations include:

* PJT Partners, Inc. in:
* securing the dismissal of a putative securities class action. Barrett v. PJT Partners Inc., 2017 WL 3995606 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 8, 2017); and
* obtaining a partial dismissal of claims involving a fraud committed by a rogue employee;

* A class of music publishers in their litigation against Napster, in which the publishers obtained an injunction against distribution of their musical works by Napster. The injunction was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and affirmed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc., 284 F.3d 1091 (9th Cir. 2002);
* A class of music publishers in the Grokster case, in which the music publishers ultimately prevailed before the U.S. Supreme Court. Metro Goldwyn Mayer Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Inc., 125 S. Ct. 2764 (2005);
* A class of music publishers in their litigations against MP3.com and Scour.net, both of which were settled favorably;
* The National Music Publishers’ Association, Inc. (NMPA), the Songwriters Guild of America and the Nashville Songwriters Association International in a trial in the Library of Congress resulting in the setting of advantageous new

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Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Chair, Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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Aidan Synnott
Co-Chair, Antitrust Practice Group at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP
Education
LLM
Class of 1989

The University of Michigan, founded in 1817, celebrates a long and distinguished history. It was in 1787 that the Northwest Territorial Ordinance provided public land for this and other Midwestern universities and established a tradition of respect for excellence in higher education. Three Native American nations—the Ojibwa (Chippewa), Odawa (Ottawa), and Bodewadini (Potawatomi)—subsequently granted certain lands for use of the University of Michigan and by the end of the 19th century, Michigan was the largest and most generously supported public university in America and already a leader in graduate education. The University of Michigan Law School, one of the oldest law schools in the nation, was founded in 1859. But unlike other highly selective law schools established in that era, admission was never restricted to the privileged. When Gabriel Hargo graduated from the Law School in 1870, Michigan—then the largest law school in the country—became the second American university to confer a law degree on an African American. That same year, Michigan was the first major law school to admit a woman, and in 1871, graduate Sarah Killgore became the first woman with a law degree in the nation to be admitted to the bar; by 1890, Michigan had graduated more women than any other law school. That commitment to access and diversity joined an equally powerful commitment to excellence, which continues to this day.

B.L.
Class of 1987

King’s Inns is a private company headquartered in Dublin, Ireland, specializing in colleges, universities, and professional schools.

Memberships
Member
Current

American Bar Association provides legal services. It provides law school accreditation, continuing legal education, legal information and other services to assist legal professionals. The firm has members which include judges, court administrators, law professors, and non-practicing attorneys. The company was founded on August 21, 1878 and is headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Member
Current

The New York State Bar Association (NYSBA) is a voluntary bar association for the state of New York. NYSBA was founded in 1877 with the stated goal to cultivate the science of jurisprudence; to promote reform in the law; to facilitate the administration of justice, and to elevate the standards of integrity, honor, professional skill, and courtesy in the legal profession. Its first President was David B. Hill. Among the reforms in the legislation signed into law creating the association was the removal of the restrictions on the admission of women to the practice of law. In 1896, NYSBA proposed the first global means for settling disputes among nations, what is now called the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague.

Fellow
Current

TO EXPAND KNOWLEDGE AND ADVANCE JUSTICE THROUGH INNOVATIVE, INTERDISCIPLINARY, AND RIGOROUS EMPIRICAL RESEARCH ON THE LAW.

Career History
Co-Chair, Antitrust Practice Group
Current

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP is a law firm that serve as counsel to companies and investment funds. They have expertise in the areas of bankruptcy and corporate reorganization, employee benefits and executive compensation, intellectual property, personal representation, real estate and tax law. The company is headquartered in New York, NY.

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Senator from New Jersey

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Senator from Virginia

Transactions
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Banijay Group SAS, Financière LOV SAS purchase Endemol Shine Group Ltd. from The Walt Disney Company, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Apollo Global Management, Inc. /Private Equity

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KPS Capital Partners LP purchases Lufkin Industries, Inc. from Baker Hughes Co.

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Advent International Corp., Aimbridge Hospitality LLC purchase Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc. from Kohlberg & Company LLC

Other Affiliations

Aidan Synnott is affiliated with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

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