European Union antitrust experts set up shop in DC

WASHINGTON: Europe's largest network of competition and antitrust specialists has come to Washington, DC, forging an alliance with one of the city's newest public affairs firms.

WASHINGTON: Europe's largest network of competition and antitrust specialists has come to Washington, DC, forging an alliance with one of the city's newest public affairs firms.

FIPRA is an independently owned franchise made up of ex-government officials who help guide large companies through the antitrust or merger-approval processes in the European Union. Microsoft, GE, Honeywell, and AOL Time Warner have all used FIPRA's services overseas.

The network will be represented in DC by Adam Golodner, chief of staff for the Anti-Trust Division of the US Justice Department from 1997 to 2001. He is the first FIPRA franchisee to operate officially in the US.

While the network performs some of its own PR and IR work internally, in Europe it farms much of it out to Finsbury, a WPP-owned PR agency.

In America, Golodner is forging a similar relationship with FM Strategic Communications, the Washington public affairs firm recently formed by a handful of ex-Hawthorn Group executives.

"We'll be focusing on global mergers that hopefully play out in both the US and Europe," said cofounder John Moore, "We will do PR, media-relations, grassroots work, and coalition buildings here in the US."

FM counts antitrust support among its specialty practices. President Esther Foer built Shmertz Communications' anti-trust and litigation support group before heading to Hawthorn.

Peter-Carlo Lehrell, founder and owner of the FIPRA network, expressed excitement about gaining a foothold in America. He said his people had been guiding American companies through the European landscape for years, and that it only made sense to extend those capabilities to the other side of the Atlantic.

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