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Antitrust Counseling & Compliance 2018

Author(s): M. Howard Morse
Practice Area: Banking
Published: Oct 2018
ISBN: 9781402432552
PLI Item #: 219024
CHB Spine #: B2445

Howard Morse is a partner in the Antitrust & Competition practice group and a member of Cooley's Business department. He joined the Firm in 2010 and is resident in the Washington, DC office.

Mr. Morse regularly represents businesses before the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Justice, and State Attorneys General, in investigations involving mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures, alleged monopolization, and restraint of trade cases. He also counsels clients on antitrust issues and represents companies in private antitrust litigation.

Mr. Morse has been at the forefront of applying antitrust law to the high-tech sector and the intersection of antitrust and intellectual property law, including issues related to innovation markets, patent pools, standard setting, and settlement of intellectual property litigation.

Before joining Cooley, Mr. Morse served for 10 years at the Federal Trade Commission as deputy assistant director for policy and assistant director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. At the FTC, he was responsible for more than 50 enforcement actions including Hart-Scott-Rodino civil penalty and merger enforcement actions in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries and in the computer hardware and software industries. Mr. Morse received the FTC's Award for Superior Service for "furthering the Commission's Merger Enforcement Program" and for "advancing the antitrust mission of the Federal Trade Commission in innovation markets and high technology industries."

Mr. Morse has been recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA Guide to America's Leading Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Who's Who in American Law, The International Who's Who of Competition Lawyers & Economists and The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers. The Chambers USA 2015 Guide to America's Leading Lawyers says Mr. Morse "is 'both knowledgeable and practical'" and that he is "a well-respected antitrust counselor, particularly experienced in advising hi-tech companies on the intersection between antitrust and IP law."

Representative matters include:

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Semiconductor equipment manufacturer – obtained clearance for sale of company with promising products expected to become a significant competitor to leading firm, after second request investigation by DOJ.
  • Web-based services – obtained clearance for sale of family history website to leader in the sector after extended investigation by FTC.
  • 3D printer manufacturer – obtained clearance for merger of leading 3D printer manufacturers and acquisitions of other 3D printer manufacturers.
  • Medical device manufacturer – obtained clearance for sale of developer of revolutionary subcutaneous implantable cardiac defibrillator by leading defibrillator manufacturer.
  • Automotive parts manufacturer – obtained clearance for sale of automotive battery business, a transaction that combined two of three leading firms.
  • Various clients – counsel on numerous acquisitions, obtaining clearance without a second request by proactively engaging with antitrust agencies, coordinating global competition filings and reviews in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Encouraging government enforcement – successful in convincing the government to take enforcement action against acquisitions in the computer hardware and software and medical device industries.
  • Counsel to companies acquiring assets required to be divested under government antitrust consent decrees.

Anticompetitive Practices

  • Monopolization litigation – obtained dismissal of monopolization and related claims against NetJets Inc. in McCagg v. Marquis Jet Partners, Inc.
  • Federal investigations – persuaded DOJ to close investigation into practices of specialized and professional accrediting agency, convinced FTC to challenge exclusive dealing by leading competitor of veterinary device manufacturer.
  • State attorneys general investigations – persuaded authorities to close multi-state investigations of alleged group boycott in online brokerage industry and of licensing practices of leading computer software developer.
  • Antitrust counterclaims in patent litigation – successfully asserted antitrust counterclaims in litigation over introduction of the first MP3 player in RIAA v. Diamond Multimedia Systems, Inc.
  • Various pharmaceutical companies – counsel on settlement of patent litigation, including filing notifications under Medicare Modernization Act, and regarding authorized generic drugs.

Consumer Protection Matters

  • Privacy – convinced FTC to close various investigations of privacy practices, negotiated consent agreement for ScanScout, Inc. resolving allegations of deceptive use of Flash cookies.
  • False advertising – obtained favorable settlement for alleged false advertising by leading dietary supplement supplier after establishing efficacy of products.
  • Consumer class actions – defeated class certification in blast faxing litigation in City Lights School, Inc. v. T-MobileUSA, Inc.

Mr. Morse is a member of the American Bar Association Antitrust Section Council and previously chaired the Section's Federal Civil Enforcement, Intellectual Property, Computer Industry and Exemptions & Immunities Committees. Mr. Morse has testified before Congress, the Antitrust Modernization Commission and the DOJ/FTC hearings on Competition and Intellectual Property Law and Policy.


  • Harvard Law School
    JD, 1984, cum laude
  • Dartmouth College
    AB, 1981, summa cum laude

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