Dennis S. Schmelzer
Associate | Washington, D.C.
Dennis S. Schmelzer

Dennis S. Schmelzer focuses his practice on antitrust and regulatory matters. He guides clients through all phases of merger reviews and investigations conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), state attorneys general, and international competition and regulatory authorities. Mr. Schmelzer also has considerable experience with civil litigation, including advising clients through multidistrict class action proceedings and defending clients at trial.

Mr. Schmelzer handles matters across a wide range of industries, including aviation, electronics, energy, fashion, food products, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, retail, and travel. Based on more than a decade of experience, Super Lawyers has listed Mr. Schmelzer as a “Rising Star” for antitrust litigation in Washington, D.C. from 2015 through 2023.

Mr. Schmelzer is actively involved with the development of the Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker (DAMITT), which tracks and reports on U.S. antitrust merger investigation trends. Data from DAMITT has been cited by various antitrust agencies, as well as The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, Fortune, Time, TheStreet, Law360, FTC Watch, Global Competition Review, and many other leading publications.  Mr. Schmelzer also is the Associate Chair and co-founder of Dechert’s Disability Affinity Group, which aims to build awareness about disability inclusion and advocate for an accessible workplace where all professionals feel valued.

Prior to joining Dechert, Mr. Schmelzer served as an associate at two other international law firms. Before law school, Mr. Schmelzer also held positions at the U.S. Mission to the European Union, the U.S. Embassy in Budapest, the Institute for Social & Economic Research & Policy, and Northrop Grumman.

Merger Reviews & Regulatory Proceedings

  • Represented U.S. Ecology, a leading provider of environmental services to commercial and government entities, in the US$2.2 billion sale of its business to Republic Services, Inc., a leader in the U.S. environmental services industry.
  • Represented Getaroom, a B2B-focused distributor of hotel rooms, in connection with the US$1.2 billion sale of its business to Booking Holdings Inc., a leading provider of online travel and related services under brands like, Priceline, Kayak, and Agoda.
  • Represented Cerus Endovascular, a commercial-stage medical device company engaged in the development of interventional neuroradiology devices for the treatment of acute, life-threatening neurological conditions, in the sale of its business to Stryker Corporation, a leading medical technology company.
  • Advised Jimmy Jazz, a lifestyle retailer of street-inspired footwear, apparel and accessories, on the sale of its business to Snipes, a global sneaker and streetwear retailer with more than 450 stores in the United States and Europe.
  • Advised Diamonds Direct USA, a direct-to-consumer destination retailer of jewelry, on the US$490 million sale of its business to Signet Jewelers, the world’s largest retailer of diamond jewelry under brands like Jared’s, Kay Jewelers, and Zales.
  • Advised DTLR Villa LLC, a lifestyle retailer that provides one-stop shopping for street-inspired footwear, apparel and accessories, on the US$495 million sale of its business to JD Sports Fashion Plc, a global retailer of sports, fashion and outdoor brands.
  • Represented Jacksons Food Stores as a divestiture buyer for 63 fuel outlets in connection with 7-Eleven’s US$21 billion acquisition of Speedway from Marathon Petroleum.
  • Defended One Equity Partners' US$640 million sale of PeroxyChem, a leading global manufacturer and supplier of hydrogen peroxide and other peroxygen chemistries, to Evonik Industries in a successful Section 13(b) merger trial. 
  • Represented One Equity Partners on its acquisitions of USNR, the world's most comprehensive supplier of equipment and technologies for the wood processing industry, Wood Fiber Group, a leading manufacturer and supplier of sawmill consumables, parts, and services, and Rosboro, a leading manufacturer of glued laminated timber.
  • Represented American Airlines in connection with its successful DOT application for antitrust immunity for its joint business agreement with Qantas Airways Limited.
  • Advised American Airlines in regulatory proceedings before the DOT and international competition authorities in connection with multiple additional applications for antitrust immunity for joint business agreements with international partners.
  • Secured DOJ approval for American Airlines’ acquisition of a significant equity stake in Republic Airways.
  • Advised Griffon Corporation on its US$330 million sale of Telephonics Corporation, a leading provider of highly sophisticated intelligence, surveillance and communications solutions that are deployed across a wide range of land, sea and air applications, to TTM Technologies, Inc.  in a transaction that broadened TTM’s Aerospace and Defense offering vertically while strengthening its position in radar systems.
  • Advised Ritchie Brothers, the world’s largest auctioneer and provider of end-to-end services for heavy equipment, on its acquisition of Rouse Services, a leading provider of data intelligence and benchmarking services.
  • Advised C&J Energy Services on its US$2.86 billion combination with Nabors’ completion and production businesses in a transaction that created a leading diversified provider of completion and production services.
  • Represented the Oman Oil Company, a commercial company wholly owned by the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, in its US$2.4 billion acquisition of Oxea, the world’s largest supplier of Oxo chemical products, from Advent International.
  • Represented Riverstone Holdings in connection with its US$9.5 billion formation of Talen Energy Corporation, which combined the merchant power generation businesses previously operated by PPL Corporation and Riverstone Holdings into one of the largest independent power producers in the United States. 
  • Advised Sabine Oil & Gas in its combination with Forest Oil Corporation to form a leader in exploration and production services in East Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas.
  • Represented Oiltanking Partners in connection with its US$4.4 billion sale of Oiltanking Holdings Americas to Enterprise Products Partners.
  • Secured FTC clearance for Plains All American Pipeline’s sale of its Rocky Mountain Pipeline System to Magellan Midstream Partners.
  • Counseled St. Luke’s Episcopal Health System in its US$1 billion sale to Catholic Health Initiatives, a nationally recognized healthcare system.
  • Represented Liberty Dialysis in its US$1.7 billion sale to Fresenius Medical Care North America, the largest provider of dialysis services in the United States.
  • Advised Grupo Bimbo S.A. de C.V. in its US$959 million acquisition of Sara Lee’s North American fresh bakery business.

Government Investigations & Litigation

  • Advised American Airlines in connection with multidistrict antitrust litigation alleging anticompetitive conduct related to domestic airline capacity and related government investigations into alleged anticompetitive conduct. 
  • Represented Hitachi Ltd. in connection with consumer class actions alleging an international cartel concerning optical disk drives.
  • Represented Hitachi Ltd. and its U.S. subsidiary Maxell Corporation of America in connection with consumer class actions alleging anticompetitive conduct related to lithium ion batteries.
  • Represented a leading automobile parts supplier and its affiliates in a series of criminal grand jury investigations and civil litigation involving antitrust allegations related to semiconductors and other consumer products.
  • Represented Toshiba Corporation and several affiliates in multi-district antitrust proceedings related to LCD panels and products, and assisted with the defense of those entities in a class action antitrust trial.
  • Represented a foreign air carrier in multi-district antitrust proceedings related to air cargo services.
  • Represented the Generic Pharmaceutical Association as amicus curiae in Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Ltd. v. Apotex, Inc.
  • Successfully defended ITOCHU International Inc. and its subsidiary MedSurg Specialty Devices, Inc. at trial against a US$70 million claim for alleged material breaches of an agreement to distribute medical devices.
  • Advised the audit committee of a telecommunications company in matters related to alleged Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations in Eastern Europe.

Includes matters handled at Dechert or prior to joining the firm.

Services Industries
    • Columbia University, B.A., 2006, cum laude
    • Duke University School of Law, J.D. and LL.M., 2009
    • District of Columbia
    • New York
    • New Jersey
    • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
    • United States District Court for the District of New Jersey
    • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
    • United States Court of International Trade
    • American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law
    • American Bar Association Forum on Air and Space Law