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Michael P. A. Cohen Partner, Litigation Department
Washington, D.C. T 1(202) 551-1880 F 1(202) 551-0280
Palo Alto T 1(650) 320-1822
Michael P. A. Cohen chairs the firm’s worldwide Antitrust & Competition Practice. For the past 22 years, Mr. Cohen has focused on antitrust, trade regulation, and competition law, excepting his service as an assistant special prosecutor pursuing criminal convictions in connection with financial institution failures in the early 1990s. His work over the past two decades has spanned a wide variety of industries. Mr. Cohen has represented parties to merger investigations in baby food, canned tuna, chemical, cold-rolled steel, digital media, entertainment, frozen potato, healthcare, motion picture, pet food, personal finance, portion-packing, publishing, radio broadcast, refined petroleum, transportation, high technology and software industries, among others. His merger clearance work defending acquisitions through trial includes the FTC challenge to H.J. Heinz Company’s proposed acquisition of the Beech-Nut baby food business and the FTC’s attempt to enjoin Western Refining’s acquisition of Giant Industries. His civil non-merger work includes high profile agency investigations and private civil litigation defense for oil and gas, weight-loss, food manufacturing, soft drink, healthcare, pharmaceutical, transportation, chemical, software, broadcast, digital media, Internet technology and computer security clients. Mr. Cohen continues to handle antitrust criminal defense work and criminal fraud investigations across industries as well.

Recent Representations

Representative Mergers and Investigations:

  • Samsung’s $1.6 billion sale of its HDD business to Seagate Technologies (Global Competition Review “Matter of the Year” 2012)
  • LIN Media’s purchase of broadcast stations from New Vision in multiple markets
  • Marvel Entertainment's $4.6 billion sale to The Walt Disney Company
  • Valitas Equity's acquisition of American Service Group
  •'s sale to Intuit
  • Del Monte Corporation's sale of the StarKist Seafood business to Dongwon Enterprises
  • Western Refining acquisition of Giant Industries (through trial and appeal)
  • H.J. Heinz Company’s attempted acquisition of the Beech-Nut baby food business (through trial and appeal)
  • FTC investigation of automobile dealer software management systems
  • FTC investigation of patent licensing in connection with Digital Television standard
  • Third party digital music companies in FTC and EC investigations of Sony/BMG recording industry merger
  • Third party Internet media company in DOJ investigation of XM/Sirius satellite radio merger
  • DOJ investigation of Internet digital music licensing

Representative Antitrust and Trade Litigation:

  • Continental Guest Services Corp. v. Twin America, LLC, et al., No. 600643/10 (N.Y. S. Ct. Sept. 14, 2010), aff'd, N.Y. Sup. Ct. App. Div. (Feb. 23, 2012)
  • Federal Trade Commission v. Paul L. Foster, Western Refining, Inc. and Giant Industries, Inc., No. 1:07-cv-00352-JB-ACT (D.N.M. May 29, 2007), motion for emergency motion pending appeal denied, No. 07-2131 (10th Cir. May 31, 2007), appeal dismissed, No. 07-2131 (10th Cir. June 15, 2007)
  • Colonial Downs L.P., et al. v., Inc., C.A. No. 3:07CV577 (E.D. Va. 2007)
  • Mylan Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. The Procter & Gamble Co., et al., No. CGC 04429860 (Cal. Sup. Ct. 2006)
  • Federal Trade Commission v. H.J. Heinz Company, 116 F. Supp. 2d 190 (D.D.C. 2000), reversed, 246 F.3d 708 (D.C. Cir. 2001)
  • Symantec Corporation v. Hotbar, Inc., No. 05-02309 (N.D. Cal. 2005)
  • Trekeight, LLC v. Symantec Corporation, No. 04-CV-1479-H (BLM) (S.D. Cal. 2004)
  • iJET Travel Intelligence, Inc. v. Independence Air, et al., No. 1:04 CV 782 (E.D.Va. 2004)
  • Quadrogram, LLC v. Symantec Corporation, No. 03-CV-12195-RGS (D. Mass 2003)
  • Symantec Corp. v. C2 Media, Ltd., No. (03-05047 (JF) (N.D. Cal. 2003)
  • Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., et al. v. MTV, No. 01-CV-5092 (RO) (S.D.N.Y.) (2001)
  • Compania Mexicana de Tunidos, S.A. v. Star-Kist Foods, Inc., No. CV 91-1868 LGB (Bx) (1993)

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Chambers and Partners lists Mr. Cohen as a notable antitrust practitioner in Washington, D.C., indicating that clients praise his "standout customer service," his "rapport with the agencies," his "encyclopedic knowledge," and describe him as "an outstanding courtroom lawyer who is very practical, very skilled and very smart." Likewise in ranking the Antitrust and Competition practice at Paul Hastings, Legal 500 indicates clients describe Michael as "responsive, efficient, a true expert in antitrust" and "an experienced litigator."

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member of the District of Columbia Bar, the Virginia State Bar, and the American Bar Association
  • Admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and D.C. Circuit, the U.S. Court of International Trade, the U.S. District Courts for the District of Columbia, and the Eastern District of Virginia


  • Washington & Lee University, J.D., 1990 (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif, Lead Articles Editor for the Washington & Lee Law Review)
  • Virginia Tech, B.A., 1987