• DOJ Prevails in Challenge to Bazaarvoice Acquisition of PowerReviews
  • January 15, 2014 | Authors: Clifford H. Aronson; Ian G. John; James A. Keyte; Steven C. Sunshine
  • Law Firms: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP - New York Office ; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP - Washington Office
  • On January 8, 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) prevailed in its challenge to Bazaarvoice’s consummated $168 million acquisition of PowerReviews. The United States District Court for the Northern District of California held that Bazaarvoice’s June 2012 deal constituted the purchase of its “closest and only serious competitor” and violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. In reaching its decision, the court thoroughly applied the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines (2010 Guidelines) and relied heavily on premerger “hot documents” that reflected closeness of competition between the merged parties and an anticompetitive deal rationale. Bazaarvoice demonstrates that Section 7 defendants may find it very difficult to overcome an abundance of negative premerger documents with expert economic testimony or customer testimony at trial.