Head of Antitrust, United States
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
Related services and key industries
- Antitrust and competition
- Advertising and marketing
- Cartels and antitrust investigations
- Merger control
- Regulation and investigations
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.
Amanda is particularly adept at shepherding companies through the intricacies involved in presenting their case before the FTC, DOJ and state attorneys general. Clients have praised her to Chambers USA for "advising the client, addressing issues and melding business objectives with legal realities."
A frequent speaker on antitrust topics, Amanda is regularly sought after by major media outlets such as the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, National Public Radio, and Associated Press to provide analysis of significant mergers. Additionally, Amanda has written and spoken extensively based on her experience representing parties and witnesses in dozens of antitrust investigations and litigation.
Amanda is co-founder of The Grapevine, the first networking platform established for professional women in the Washington, DC area who practice in the competition and consumer protection arenas; mentors up-and-coming lawyers through the American Bar Association's Antitrust Section; and supports the Kautz-Uible Fund at the University of Cincinnati by serving on its board of trustees.
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
Amanda regularly represents merging parties before the US antitrust enforcers, including:
- A transportation industry manufacturer in devising and implementing the strategy to obtain global merger clearance of multi-billion Euro transaction to create the largest global player in the industry. Amanda's global team obtained clearance during the initial review periods by all reviewing jurisdictions.
- Duke Energy Corporation in a DOJ investigation into alleged premature exercise of control (aka "gun jumping").
- An international retailer in obtaining premerger clearance in a strategic acquisition to expand product offerings into adjacent product and service areas in a deal valued in excess of $500 million. Amanda's team obtained clearance during the initial HSR waiting period.
- 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.
- One of the world's largest retail supermarket chains in connection with strategic divestitures reviewed by FTC. After a Second Request, the FTC cleared the transaction with divestitures.
- A global packaging company in the premerger review of a strategic transaction valued in excess of US$1 billion. The transaction was reported in four jurisdictions and also reviewed voluntarily in the UK. The deal cleared in all reviewing jurisdictions after initial advocacy without issuance of Second Request (or equivalent in foreign jurisdictions).
- 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.
- Universal Music Group before the FTC 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.
- 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.
Amanda works closely with non-party witnesses in FTC and DOJ antitrust investigations and litigation to achieve their strategic objectives to oppose, support or remain neutral regarding a proposed merger while, at the same time, protecting confidential and privileged materials and managing costs. Recent relevant matters include representing:
- A market participant in the FTC investigation and litigation into Tronox's proposed acquisition of Cristal USA.
- A major energy company in the FTC investigation into Par Petroleum Corporation's proposed acquisition of Mid-Pac Petroleum.
- The sole customer of two merging parties in 18-month long investigations by the Federal Trade Commission and Canadian Competition Commission.
- A purchaser in FTC investigation and litigation regarding the proposed acquisition of US Foods by Sysco.
- A group of downstream purchasers before the DOJ resulting in a decision not to clear the proposed merger of BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. The global opposition to BHP Billiton/Rio Tinto joint venture won Global Competition Review's Award for "M&A Transaction of the Year—Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa."
Amanda's antitrust and complex litigation experience includes representing:
- As trial counsel, a global high technology company in patent infringement case; case went to full trial on the merits on antitrust counterclaims.
- As trial counsel, a national retail and casino development company in commercial litigation resulting in favorable settlement on the eve of trial.
- Representing the Federal Trade Commission as trial counsel in the FTC's challenge to the proposed merger of Whole Foods and Wild Oats.
- Chambers USA, District of Columbia: Antitrust, Chambers & Partners, 2019 – 2022
- Legal 500 US, Recommended, Civil litigation/class actions: defense, The Legal 500, 2022
- 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
- Recognized as a Future Leader for Competition Law, Who's Who Legal, Law Business Research, Ltd, 2018 – 2019
- Named to "40 Under 40 Hot List" by Benchmark Litigation, 2016 – 2020
- Listed as a Future Star in Virginia, Benchmark Litigation, 2017 – 2020
- PACEsetter Award, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, 2017
- Washington, DC Rising Star, Antitrust Litigation, Mergers & Acquisitions, Thomson Reuters, 2014 – 2021
- The Best Lawyers in America, Antitrust Law, Best Lawyers, 2021
- Official Commendation for Meritorious Service, Federal Trade Commission, November 2007
- Best Lawyers - Antitrust Law, Best Lawyers, 2022
- Co-author, "The Changes We're Seeing In Biden-Era Merger Review," Law360, November 2, 2020
- Co-author with Abraham Chang, "US DOJ and FTC issue vertical merger guidelines," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, October 12, 2020
- Co-author with Gerald Stein and Vic Domen, "Government Contractors Beware: Implications of the DOJ's New Procurement Collusion Strike Force," The Antitrust Source, June 2020
- Co-author with Ward Atterbury and Lisa Schapira, "How Minority Shareholders Can Limit FTC Antitrust Scrutiny," Law360, June 3, 2020
- Co-author with Vic Domen and Stacey Martinez, "U.S. Antitrust Agencies' COVID-19 Response: Requests for Health and Safety Cooperation," American Health Law Association, March 25, 2020
- Co-author with Stacey Martinez, "US antitrust agencies COVID-19 response: Requests for health and safety cooperation," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, March 24, 2020
- Co-author, "FTC and DOJ release 2020 Draft Vertical Merger Guidelines for public comment," Norton Rose Fulbright Legal Update, January 13, 2020
- Co-author with Gerald Stein and Andrew Eklund, "Merger Review Takeaways From New Hart-Scott-Rodino Data," Law360, October 4, 2019
- Co-author with Gerald Stein, "Concessions by Sprint and T-Mobile Drive FCC Approval but May Not Satisfy Enforcers," The National Law Journal, May 31, 2019
- Co-author with Andrew Eklund, "Assistant attorney general suggests expanding scope of antitrust enforcement," International Law Office, May 2019
- Co-author with Andrew Eklund, "Strategies to avoid lengthy pre-merger reviews," International Law Office, April 2019
- Co-author with Mark Angland, "FTC Consent Orders with Firewalls," prepared in connection with American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, 67th Annual Spring Meeting, March 27, 2019
- Co-author with Andrew Eklund, "Nothing to See Here, Clearing the Deal in the Initial HSR Waiting Period," The Antitrust Source, February 2019
- Co-author, "Optimizing Antitrust Coverage in Private Company D&O Policies," Marsh Insights, December 2018
- Co-author, "Reinvigorated Antitrust Enforcement: Lessons for Non-Party Witnesses from Recent Merger Litigation," The Antitrust Source, October 2016
- Editor, "Transportation Antitrust Handbook", American Bar Association, 2014
- Co-author, "Analysis of Changes in Bargaining Power in DOJ/FCC Review of Comcast/Time Warner," Competition Policy International Antitrust Chronicle, April 2014
Amanda has been widely quoted in the press including:
- Quoted, "Parenting during a pandemic: Slaughter's testimony sheds light on 'real' challenges," FTC Watch, August 25, 2020
- Quoted, "The Biggest Telecom Developments Of 2020: Midyear Report," Law360, July 21, 2020
- Quoted, "Virus Set To Extend Already Growing Merger Times," Law360, May 22, 2020
- Quoted, "Antitrust agencies spark debate for letting competitors team up in Covid-19 fight," MLex, April 14, 2020
- Quoted, "Int'l Antitrust Enforcers Balance Cooperation, Crackdowns," Law360, April 1, 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
- 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
- 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
- Quoted, "FCC chairman backs T-Mobile-Sprint deal in key endorsement," Associated Press, The Washington Post, Wired, May 20, 2019
Commentary and analysis of "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
- Panelist, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Spring Meeting, online, May 1, 2020
- Speaker, Around the world in 60 minutes: agency response to COVID-19, Global antitrust webinar, April 8, 2020
- Speaker, Breaking news: Five things you need to know about the new Vertical Merger Guidelines, Norton Rose Fulbright Webinar, January 28, 2020
- Speaker, William & Mary Law School 8th Leadership Conference, Williamsburg, VA, September 27, 2019
- Speaker, Sprint/T-Mobile: What's next for the state Attorneys General?, Jeffries Speaker Series, June 2019
- Keynote speaker, Real World Economics, Department of Economics Awards Banquet, University of Cincinnati, April 2019
- Panelist, Information Exchange Couseling in the Digital Age, American Bar Association, Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, March 2019
- Panelist, Capitol Forum's Fifth Annual Tech, Media, & Telecom Competition Conference, December 2018
- Panelist, Antitrust/M&A Environment for Healthcare, Credit Suisse Health Insurance Symposium, September 26, 2018
- Panelist, Economic Analysis of Partial Acquisitions and JVs, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, June 26, 2018
- Panelist, 2018 Hal White Antitrust Conference, Washington, DC, June 11, 2018
- Speaker, Women In Antitrust Deal Work: San Francisco, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, February 8, 2018
- Speaker, Optimizing Your Networking Opportunities, The Grapevine and ABA Section of Antitrust Law, November 13, 2017
- Speaker, Women in Antitrust Deal Work, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, November 9, 2017
- Speaker, Careers in Economics: Opportunities and Challenges for Women, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati, October 26, 2017
- Chair/Speaker, Representing Non-Party Witnesses in Merger Investigations and Litigation, 65th Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, March 29-31, 2017
- Speaker, Monthly Consumer Protection Update, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, December 9, 2015
- Panelist, Be the Boss: Making it Rain, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, November 9, 2015
- Moderator, Opening Keynote: Regulatory Update, Women, Influence, and Power in Law Conference, October 29, 2015
- Panelist, Successful Women in Law Acknowledge the Networks that Got Them Here, Women, Influence, and Power in Law Conference, October 28, 2015
- Panelist, Robinson-Patman Litigation Returns! Or Does It?, Committee Program, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, March 16, 2015
- Panelist, Joint Ventures: The Fundamentals, Committee Program, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, November 20, 2014
- Panelist, (Still) An Unfortunate Shortcut: The Use of Market Share in Critical Diversion Analyses, NERA's 33rd Antitrust & Trade Regulation Seminar, July 4, 2014
- Member of the MLex Advisory Board, 2018- present
- Board of Trustees, Kautz-Uible Institute, Department of Economics, Carl H. Lindner College of Business, University of Cincinnati (2016-present; founded Women in Economics Initiative)
- Board of Trustees, University of Cincinnati Foundation
- Co-Founder, The Grapevine, 2010-present
- Section Leadership, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, 2007 - Present (various positions; currently serve as member of Section Council)
June 14, 2022
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