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Antitrust Enforcement in the Time of COVID-19: What You Need to Know


Speaker(s): M. Howard Morse, Megan Browdie
Recorded on: Apr. 23, 2020
PLI Program #: 299606

Howard Morse is a Washington-DC based partner and former chair of Cooley LLP’s antitrust and competition practice group. He represents businesses before the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, and State Attorneys General in investigations involving mergers and acquisitions as well as monopolization, restraint of trade and unfair and deceptive practices.

Howard regularly helps businesses navigate mergers and acquisitions through the HSR regulatory review process, particularly in the pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device, computer hardware and software, and other high-tech industries. 

Howard has recently represented

  • Cornerstone OnDemand, a global leader in people development solutions, in its acquisition of talent experience solutions competitor Saba Software for $1.3 billion
  • TiVo in its $3 billion merger with Xperi, creating a leading consumer and entertainment technology business and one of the industry’s largest intellectual property licensing platforms
  • ZOLL Medical Corporation, a manufacturer of medical devices, in its acquisition of Cardiac Science Corporation, combining the two leading manufacturers of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), allowing the firm to place lifesaving technology into the hands of more lay rescuers and first responders during medical emergencies
  • Minute Key, the leading supplier of self-service key duplication kiosks, in its sale to the Hillman Group, the leading full-service key cutting platform;
  • Meredith Corporation in its $2.8 billion acquisition of Time Inc., combining the companies’ magazine portfolios;
  • Abaxis Inc., a leading provider of veterinary point-of-care diagnostic instruments, in its $2 billion sale to Zoetis Inc., combining their animal health businesses;
  • Zeltiq Aesthetics in its $2.4 billion sale to Allergan plc., combining Zeltiq’s flagship CoolSculpting body contouring system with Allergan’s global aesthetics business;
  • Rovi in its $1.1 billion acquisition of Tivo, combining two media and entertainment technology innovators;
  • Objet in its merger with Stratasys to form the leading player in 3-D printing, and the merged firm in acquisitions of MakerBot, Solid Concepts and Harvest Technologies; and
  • Sazerac, Inc., the largest privately-owned spirits company in the U.S., in a number of acquisitions including of the Canadian Mist, Early Times, and Seagram’s VO, and Southern Comfort brands.

Each of these transactions was cleared by the antitrust authorities after close review.

Howard served for ten years at the FTC where he was Assistant Director of the Bureau of Competition and Deputy Assistant Director for Policy. He was responsible for more than 75 enforcement actions while at the FTC and 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.”

Howard has been active in the ABA Antitrust Section, serving on the Section’s Council as well as chairing its Federal Civil Enforcement, Computer Industry, Intellectual Property, and Exemptions and Immunities committees, and serving as editor of the Annual Review of Antitrust Law Developments book.

Howard is recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer by Best Lawyers in America, Chambers USA, Euromoney’s Expert Guides to the World’s Leading Competition Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Who’s Who Legal: Competition, and has been recognized as a Client Service All-Star by BTI.

Chambers has described Howard as "both knowledgeable and practical," "a well-respected antitrust counselor, particularly experienced in advising hi-tech companies on the intersection between antitrust and IP law" and “well regarded for his work on both the transactional and litigation side of antitrust matters.”

Howard is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Harvard Law School.  When not helping clients, Howard can be found sailing, scuba diving, skiing, or traveling with his family.

 


Megan Browdie solves clients’ antitrust issues, including guiding transactions through merger review and representing clients in government investigations and litigation. She regularly counsels clients on a variety of topics including pricing practices, licensing of intellectual property and other distribution issues. Megan has helped to secure critical wins for clients in a number of cases and has experience in matters before the Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission and state antitrust authorities, as well as in federal court.

Megan works with clients in a number of industries, including automotive, consumer goods, computer hardware, financial services, IoT, oil and gas, pharmaceuticals and medical devices, software and telecommunications.

Megan maintains a vibrant pro bono practice, primarily working with families and caregivers in the Washington, DC area. Megan is also an active member of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law, currently serving as an Editor of the Section’s Antitrust Law Developments, 9th Edition.