Global Competition Review readers have selected the firm, along with co-counsel Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, as winners of the "Merger Control Matter of the Year – Americas" Award. Axinn and its co-counsel were chosen for their representation of Google in a $700 million acquisition of ITA Software. The award winner and two runners up were announced at the 2nd annual GCR Awards Dinner in Washington, DC on March 27th.
"Merger Control Matter of the Year – Americas" recognizes creative, strategic and innovative competition work on a landmark merger control matter in which the target was based in the Americas. A shortlist of finalists was compiled by editors at the publication, and GCR readers decided the winner through an online vote in March. Axinn and four other law firms were selected from hundreds of entries across the U.S.
Google’s acquisition of ITA Software is the fourth largest acquisition undertaken by Google. In addition to counseling Google throughout an extensive Department of Justice investigation, Axinn led several sustained rounds of advocacy before, and negotiation with, the Department of Justice. The firms’ efforts ultimately led to a settlement that ensured Google remained free to develop innovative new products and services and fully leverage its new acquisition. The merger, which faced heavy opposition from companies including Microsoft, Orbitz Worldwide, Kayak and Expedia, was cleared by the Department of Justice in April of 2011.
The Axinn team was led by attorneys John D. Harkrider, Russell Steinthal, and Daniel Bitton.
“The firm’s selection by readership of the world’s leading competition law and policy journal underscores the savvy, creative and tireless work Axinn attorneys deliver on behalf of our clients,” said founding partner Steve Axinn. “John Harkrider and Russell Steinthal’s leadership on this matter has raised the bar on competition thinking and antitrust advocacy in this country and elsewhere” he added.