WASHINGTON, D.C. (February 10, 2006) — McDermott Will & Emery successfully assisted Blackboard Inc. (Blackboard) in clearing the antitrust regulatory review process for its merger with competitor, WebCT, Inc. (WebCT). Blackboard and WebCT are leading suppliers of course management system software. Course management systems are used by colleges, universities, high schools, corporations and other institutions to teach and manage courses. Based on published reports Blackboard and WebCT products are used at the majority of U.S. higher education institutions using such systems. On October 12, 2005, Blackboard agreed to merge with WebCT.
Blackboard and WebCT notified U.S. antitrust regulators of the transaction under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act. The Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued a Second Request at the end of November, extending the HSR review period to conduct a further investigation. DOJ completed its review of this acquisition in early February, and early termination of the HSR review was granted on February 6, 2006.
"We are extremely pleased with McDermott's work on this review," said Matthew Small, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Blackboard. "We were thoroughly impressed with their insight into the nuances of the regulatory process which allowed the team to quickly identify the arguments and successfully develop the supporting evidence to obtain clearance for the transaction. I believe the McDermott team’s proactive approach is what allowed us to move through the review process quickly."
The Washington, D.C.-based McDermott team advising Blackboard on the antitrust review was led by Jon Dubrow. Others assisting on the matter included partners Joel Grosberg and James Rizzo and associates Andrea Hamilton and Greg Heltzer.
McDermott's Antitrust & Competition Practice Group has a sophisticated practice in U.S. antitrust law, EC competition law and the competition laws of various other countries. More than 60 lawyers focus their practices on antitrust and competition law with approximately 10 lawyers concentrating on international competition law. The Antitrust & Competition Practice Group includes partners who have held senior positions at the DOJ, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and State Attorney General’s Offices for Antitrust.