Amanda Wait

Head of Antitrust, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP


Biography

Amanda Wait, a former Federal Trade Commission (FTC) lawyer advises deal makers and litigants and combines her in-depth knowledge of antitrust agency practice with a business-focused approach to getting deals done. Clients have praised her to Chambers USA for "advising the client, addressing issues and melding business objectives with legal realities."

A thought leader on antitrust topics, Amanda is regularly sought after by major media outlets such as Law360, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, and Associated Press to provide analysis of significant mergers and antitrust developments.

Amanda founded and leads the Women in Economics Initiative at the University of Cincinnati, which provides scholarships, mentorships, and professional growth opportunities for women economics students.  


Professional experience

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JD, William & Mary Law School, Associate Articles Editor, William & Mary Law Review, Articles Editor, Environmental Law & Policy Review, 2004
BA, University of Cincinnati, summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 2000

  • District of Columbia Bar
  • United States v. U.S. Sugar, et al., (D. Del., 2022). Served as trial counsel to Louis Dreyfus Company in connection with the DOJ's challenge of the sale of Imperial Sugar Company's Port Wentworth refinery to U.S. Sugar; Imperial and U.S. Sugar obtained a complete win at the district court enabling successful completion of the acquisition.
  • Select healthcare experience:
    • Successfully advised a major health system in connection with its strategic combination in review by the Federal Trade Commission; after considering potential horizontal overlap, cross-market theories, and labor market impacts, the FTC closed its investigation without action.
    • United States v. UnitedHealthGroup, (D.D.C., 2022). Represented a health technology company as a non-party witness in the DOJ's investigation and litigation challenge of the proposed acquisition of Change Healthcare by United's Optum subsidiary.  Successfully advocated to remove client from trial witness list and prevented all client documents from becoming public trial exhibits.
    • In the Matter of Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare, (F.T.C., 2020). Counsel to Methodist Le Bonheur in connection with the FTC investigation and litigation of its proposed acquisition of a Memphis hospital from Tenet Healthcare.
    • Obtained antitrust clearance after FTC investigation for a strategic laboratory outsourcing arrangement for a major Texas hospital system.
  • Select energy experience:
    • Advised a major US energy company in connection with a vertical acquisition that received a Second Request from the Federal Trade Commission.
    • United States v. Duke Energy Corporation, (D.D.C., 2017).  Negotiated consent decree on behalf of Duke Energy Corporation after DOJ investigation into alleged premature exercise of control (aka "gun jumping") raising novel theories of antitrust violations under the HSR Act.
    • Advised a major energy company before the FTC in multiple strategic refining divestiture transactions. Obtained early termination of the HSR waiting period in each to enable client to move forward with extensive integration process relating to the sale.
    • Advised a major energy company in multiple FTC investigations, including into Par Petroleum Corporation's proposed acquisition of Mid-Pac Petroleum.
  • Select retail and consumer products experience:
    • Developed and led the global merger clearance strategy for a transportation industry manufacturer in connection with a strategic, multi-billion Euro transaction; by anticipating the likely questions, the client obtained clearance during the initial review periods in all reviewing jurisdictions.
    • Developed and led strategy to obtain merger clearance in four jurisdictions for a global packaging company in a strategic transaction valued in excess of US$1 billion. The deal cleared in all reviewing jurisdictions after initial advocacy without issuance of Second Request (or equivalent in foreign jurisdictions).
    • Successfully obtained premerger clearance for an international retailer's strategic acquisition to expand product offerings into adjacent product and service areas in a deal valued in excess of $500 million.
    • In the Matter of Lone Star Fund V (U.S.), L.P., (F.T.C., 2014).  On behalf of one of the world's largest retail supermarket chains, negotiated a settlement with the FTC for strategic divestitures in order to obtain clearance after a Second Request.
    • In the Matter of Service Corporation International, (F.T.C., 2013).  Advised a leading provider of funeral and cemetery services in its US$1.4 billion strategic merger being reviewed by the FTC and several state attorneys general. The reviewing agencies cleared the transaction with divestitures after a Second Request.
    • Advised Universal Music Group in its US$1.9 billion acquisition of the recorded music business of EMI Music. After a Second Request and an extensive investigation, the FTC voted 5-0 to close its investigation without requiring divestitures or other remedies.
    • Kingston Technologies v. Sandisk (W.D. Wis., 2011).  Trial counsel to Kingston in patent infringement case; case went to full trial on the merits on antitrust counterclaims.
    • Served as counsel to Delta Air Lines before the DOJ in its successful acquisition of Northwest Airlines. Following a Second Request and extensive investigation, the DOJ closed its investigation without requiring any divestitures or other remedies.
    • Federal Trade Commission v. Whole Foods, D.D.C. (2008).  Trial counsel to the FTC, in the FTC's challenge to the proposed merger of Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
  • Chambers USA, District of Columbia: Antitrust, Chambers and Partners, 2019 – 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Antitrust Law, Best Lawyers, 2021-2024
  • Lawdragon 500 Leading Litigators in America, Lawdragon, Inc., 2022 - 2024
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended, Civil litigation/class actions: defense, The Legal 500, 2022 - 2023
  • 2021 Women in Antitrust, Global Competition Review, 2021
  • Named to "40 Under 40 Hot List," Benchmark Litigation, 2021
  • Washington, DC Rising Star, Antitrust Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Thomson Reuters, 2014 – 2021
  • Legal 500 US, Recommended, Antitrust - Merger control, The Legal 500, 2020
  • Recognized as Most Highly Regarded for Competition Law, Who's Who Legal, Law Business Research, Ltd, 2020
  • PACEsetter Award, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, 2017
  • Official Commendation for Meritorious Service, Federal Trade Commission, November 2007

 

Amanda has been widely quoted in the press including:

  • Quoted, "Big Deals Being Chilled by Biden's Aggressive Antitrust Agenda," Bloomberg Law, May 10, 2023
  • Quoted, "US Antitrust Enforcers Are Chilling Big Mergers," Bloomberg Law, May 10, 2023
  • Quoted, "FTC's non-compete ban could apply to nonprofits, former staffers say" Modern Healthcare, May 8, 2023
  • Quoted, "FTC Must Avoid 'Whack-a-Mole' to Make Its Noncompete Ban Stick," Bloomberg Law, January 9, 2023
  • Quoted, "Noncompete Ban Tees Up 1st Test Of FTC's Rule Powers," Law360 January 6, 2023
  • Quoted, "Norton Rose Names New Antitrust Head," Law360, June 15, 2022
  • Quoted, "Wall Street Has Jitters Over ICE-Black Knight Antitrust Concerns," Bloomberg Law, May 13, 2022
  • Quoted, "Interview with Amanda Wait," The SACcast, December 3, 2021
  • Quoted, "Women in Antitrust," Global Competition Review, September 24, 2021
  • Quoted, "Huge win for progressives as Lina Khan takes helm at FTC," POLITICO, June 15, 2021
  • Quoted, "Khan: FTC playing catch-up on tech," Global Competition Review, April 22, 2021
  • Quoted, "Amanda Wait, '00, creates pipeline of opportunity for women in economics," UC Linder College of Business Portfolio Magazine, March 29, 2021
  • Quoted, "U.S. Aims to Check Real-Estate Data Giant CoStar's Expansion in Multifamily," Wall Street Journal, December 8, 2020
  • Quoted, "Hollis Salzman, 1965-2020," Global Competition Review, October 13, 2020
  • Quoted, "Parenting during a pandemic: Slaughter's testimony sheds light on 'real' challenges," FTC Watch, August 24, 2020
  • Quoted, "The Biggest Telecom Developments Of 2020: Midyear Report," Law360, July 21, 2020
  • Quoted, "FTC Submits Comment Supporting Telehealth Provisions in CMS Interim Final Rule," Health Law Pulse, June 8, 2020
  • Quoted, "Virus set to extend already growing merger times," Law360, May 22, 2020
  • Quoted, "Why So Serious: Federal and State Enforcers Appetite for the Healthcare Sector," LS&H, May 14, 2020
  • Quoted, "Antitrust agencies spark debate for letting competitors team up in Covid-19 fight," FTC Watch, April 13, 2020
  • Quoted, "Int'l Antitrust Enforcers Balance Cooperation, Crackdowns," Law360, April 1, 2020
  • Quoted, "U.S. Antitrust Agencies' COVID-19 Response: Requests for Health and Safety Cooperation," American Health Law Association, March 26, 2020
  • Quoted, "For US Merger Enforcers It's Business As (Almost) Usual," Law360, March 23, 2020
  • Quoted, "For DOJ And FTC, Clearing Deals Remains A Gray Area," Law360, March 20, 2020
  • Quoted, "UPDATED: ABA cancels in-person antitrust spring meeting," Global Competition Review, March 13, 2020
  • Profiled in "Making It Rain: Amanda Wait," ABA Women Rainmakers, Law Practice Today, November 14, 2019
  • Quoted, "DOJ Dusts Off Arbitration Option For Mergers After 20 Years," Law360, September 16, 2019
  • Quoted, "Aleris/Novelis: DOJ, Companies' Agreement to Arbitrate Product Market Definition May Signal Future Arbitration in Antitrust Enforcement," Reorg M&A, September 9, 2019
  • Quoted, "State AGs In Dicey Waters With Sprint-T-Mobile Challenge," Law360, June 19, 2019
  • Quoted, "AGs' Sprint-T-Mobile Challenge Tests States' Influence," Law360, June 14, 2019
  • Quoted, "States sue to stop $26.5 billion Sprint-T-Mobile deal," Associated Press, June 11, 2019
  • Commentary and analysis, "T-Mobile-Sprint merger would create a path for Boost Mobile to become fourth national carrier over time," MLex, June 6, 2019
  • Profiled in "Ten Things About Antitrust Attorney Amanda Wait," ABA Section of Antitrust Law, June 2021
  • Quoted, "Concessions by Sprint and T-Mobile Drive FCC Approval but May Not Satisfy Enforcers," The National Law Journal, May 31, 2019
  • Quoted, "T-Mobile Under Pressure to Sweeten Sprint Package for DOJ Nod," BNN Bloomberg, May 21, 2019
  • Quoted, "FCC chairman backs T-Mobile-Sprint deal in key endorsement," Associated Press, The Washington Post, Wired, The Star (Canada), May 20, 2019
  • Quoted, "FCC chairman's support of T-Mobile-Sprint puts pressure on DOJ, state AGs," MLex, May 20, 2019
  • Quoted, "Delrahim: 5G about consumer benefits, not creating winners," Global Competition Review, April 30, 2019
  • Quoted, "2 Fixes The DOJ Could Demand From Sprint-T-Mobile," Law360, April 17, 2019
  • Quoted, "Year in preview: pull-and-refile increases in Europe," Global Competition Review, January 17, 2019
  • Quoted, "FTC commissioner: no staff for second requests," Global Competition Review, January 14, 2019
  • Quoted, "Norton Rose Fulbright Adds Leading Hunton Antitrust Lawyer," The National Law Journal, January 9, 2019
  • Quoted, "Norton Rose Scores Ex-FTC Atty From Hunton Andrews," Law360, January 9, 2019
  • Quoted, "Norton Rose snags Wait," Global Competition Review, January 9, 2019
  • Quoted, "Antitrust partner joins Norton Rose Fulbright in Washington, DC," GlobeNewswire, January 8, 2019‚Äč
  • Trustee, University of Cincinnati Foundation (2019-present; currently Vice-Chair, Finance & Risk Committee)
  • Trustee, Kautz-Uible Economics Institute, University of Cincinnati (2016-present; founded Women in Economics Initiative)
  • Section Leadership, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, 2007 - Present (various positions; currently serve as Chair, Section Influence Task Force)
  • Member of the MLex Advisory Board, 2018-2020
  • Co-Founder, The Grapevine (former organization that was the first networking group for women competition and consumer protection professionals in the Washington, DC, area)