Charles F. (Rick) Rule, the head of the firm's Antitrust Group, the Managing Partner of the Washington office, and a member of the firm's Management Committee, focuses his practice on providing U.S. and international antitrust advice to major corporations in connection with "bet your company" matters, particularly high-profile mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. He also represents corporate clients in connection with civil and grand jury investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the European Commission and in private and governmental litigation both at the trial and appellate levels.
Recognized as one of the world's leading antitrust lawyers, Rick is named in Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Chambers Global: The World's Leading Lawyers For Business, The Legal 500 US, The Best Lawyers in America, Global Competition Review, The Legal Times, Law Dragon 500, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the East, The Washingtonian and Who's Who in American Law. Rick was also named a top legal innovator by the 2011 Financial Times US Innovative Lawyers Report.
Among his principal clients are Microsoft Corporation; ExxonMobil; US Airways Inc.; Celanese Corporation; Northrop Grumman Corporation; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Morgan Stanley; Financial Security Assurance; the National Basketball Association; Bacardi & Company Ltd.; Eli Lilly & Company, and Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
Rick was a key member of the team that negotiated on behalf of Microsoft a conclusion to the historic antitrust lawsuit that the Justice Department and a number of states pursued against the company. He also was involved in the antitrust clearance of some of the highest-profile mergers in recent years, including advising NYNEX in its merger with Bell Atlantic (now known as Verizon Communications), serving as Exxon Corporation's lead counsel in its successful merger with Mobil Oil Corporation (now known as Exxon Mobil Corporation), representing MGM-Mirage in its acquisition of Mandalay Bay, and representing Delta and Pine Land in its acquisition by Monsanto.
Rick has represented numerous corporations and individuals in connection with civil and criminal grand jury investigations by the Department of Justice and other enforcement agencies involving allegations of price-fixing, market allocation, bid-rigging, and other criminal conduct on a national or global scale. Utilizing his former government experience, Rick advises clients in effective strategies in protecting their interests throughout the investigation process. Rick has also handled major civil and criminal litigation and argued numerous times in court on behalf of clients such as Microsoft, US Airways, a television network and its affiliates, and the Pasha Group. While in government, he argued on behalf of the United States in several appeals and before the U.S. Supreme Court in Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574 (1986).
He began his career as William Baxter's special assistant in the Antitrust Division of the Justice Department. He served as acting head of the Division for part of 1985 and was permanently appointed to the position in late 1986, becoming the youngest person ever to be confirmed as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. In 1988, in recognition of his exemplary performance, he received the Edmund J. Randolph Award from the Justice Department. Following his departure from the Justice Department in 1989, Rick was a partner and head of the antitrust practice at a leading Washington, D.C. law firm, and subsequently became the head of the global antitrust practice of another major New York firm.
Rick is a frequent author and lecturer on antitrust and regulatory topics, and he has participated in numerous conferences, workshops, and programs on issues of merger enforcement and trade regulation. As regular counsel to clients with an interest in the technology sector, Rick has recently authored a number of articles on the Federal Trade Commission's investigation into Google, including articles in U.S. News & World Report and The American Lawyer. Rick also has served as a Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law at American University's Washington College of Law. He was the inaugural chair of the Corporations, Securities and Antitrust Practice Group of the Federalist Society and served as Chair of the Economics Committee of the American Bar Association's Antitrust Section. He is a member of the advisory board of BNA's Antitrust & Trade Regulation Report, the Washington Legal Foundation, and the Landmark Legal Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Children's Law Center and previously has served on the Visiting Committee of the University of Chicago Law School.
Rick received his J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School and his B.A., summa cum laude, from Vanderbilt University. Following law school, he served as a law clerk for Chief Judge Daniel M. Friedman of the former U.S. Court of Claims (now the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit). He is admitted to the bar in the District of Columbia.
Recent representations include:
Corporate Celanese Corporation in connection with various acquisitions and divestitures. Eli Lilly & Company on multiple matters. Exxon Corporation in its successful merger with Mobil Oil Corporation. Microsoft Corporation in its role in the acquisition of more than 6,000 patents from Nortel. Microsoft Corporation in its purchase from AOL of more than 800 patents and related patent applications as well as a non-exclusive license to AOL's retained patent portfolio for $1.1 billion. Microsoft Corporation in its assignment of a significant portion of the IP assets it is purchasing from AOL for $1.1 billion to Facebook Inc. for $550 million. Microsoft Corporation in connection with its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, the company's largest acquisition to date, which was recognized as 2012 Merger Control Matter of the Year - Europe by Global Competition Review. Microsoft Corporation in connection with its partnership agreement with Yahoo! Inc. under which Microsoft's new Bing search engine would run on multiple Yahoo! Sites, and Yahoo! would handle sales of premium search advertising for both companies. Microsoft Corporation in connection with the sale of its online advertising agency Razorfish to Publicis Groupe for $530 million and Microsoft's 5-year strategic alliance agreement with Publicis Groupe. Microsoft Corporation as lead antitrust counsel in a number of recent transactions, including Microsoft's $44.6 billion proposed acquisition of Yahoo! Inc. Northrop Grumman in its acquisition of Newport News. US Airways in its high-profile merger with American Airlines. US Airways in its 2009 agreement with Delta Air Lines to swap slots at New York LaGuardia and Reagan National airports. US Airways in its efforts to acquire Delta out of bankruptcy. US Airways in its merger with America West Airways.
Litigation Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. in the successful dismissal of claims filed in federal court in the Southern District of Florida relating to the lawfulness of Bacardi's decision to terminate certain distribution relationships in particular states. Defended Bacardi and Brown-Forman in a related lawsuit in federal court in the District of Minnesota alleging Bacardi and Brown-Forman engaged in a joint refusal to deal by virtue of the two companies' decisions to terminate certain distribution relationships. The Fair Isaac Corporation as lead antitrust counsel in an action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota against the three national credit bureaus, Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union, and their joint venture VantageScore. Financial Security Assurance, Inc. and Financial Security Assurance Holdings, Ltd. in multidistrict class action litigation alleging antitrust violations in the municipal derivatives industry. Morgan Stanley in antitrust class action relating to auction rate securities. US Airways in a federal civil antitrust lawsuit against Sabre Holdings Corp., to halt anticompetitive and anti-consumer practices, including engaging in a pattern of exclusionary conduct to shut out competition, protect its monopoly pricing power, and maintain its technologically-obsolete business model.
Publications include: "FTC's Pass on Google Opens the Door for the Justice Department," US News & World Report, January 9, 2013 "Is Google a Monopolist?" The Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2010 "Transparent Limits," The Daily Deal, April 19, 2001 "A New Broom? The FTC's Obsession with 'Clean Sweeps' and Other Divestiture Policies May Finally Be Headed for the Dustbin," The Daily Deal, March 13, 2001 "B2B or Collusion? That Is the Question Antitrust Enforcers Will Ask of Business-to-Business Sites," Legal Times, April 3, 2000 (co-author) "Antitrust Liability," Chapter 10, Healthcare Corporate Law: Financial and Liability Aspects of Healthcare Organizations, Mark Hall, ed.; Little, Brown, 1994; updated 1999 (co-author with David L. Meyer) "The Case Against the Case Against Microsoft: Why the Justice Department Is Barking Up the Wrong Operating System," Slate, November 12, 1997 "The FTC Is Strangling Business Mergers," The Washington Times, May 19, 1997 "What Case Against Microsoft?" The Wall Street Journal, February 22, 1995 "Keep Baseball Exempt from Antitrust Laws," The Wall Street Journal, August 24, 1994 "Health Care Collaboration Does Not Require Substantive Antitrust Reform," 29 Wake Forest Law Review 169, 1994 (co-author with David L. Meyer) "Back to the Dark Ages of Antitrust," The Wall Street Journal, June 17, 1992 "A New and Unimproved Antitrust Policy," Legal Times, March 9, 1992 "NAFTA and Antitrust Policy: Competition and Consumer Welfare Issues," The North American Free Trade Agreement: Issues, Options, Implications. Essays by Practicing Lawyers on Legal and Policy Issue Raised by the North American Free Trade Agreement, ABA, February 1992 (co-author with Ellen K. Snyder) "An Antitrust Enforcement Policy to Maximize the Economic Wealth of All Consumers," 33 Antitrust Bulletin 677, 1988, reprinted in The Political Economy of the Sherman Act-the First One Hundred Years, 1991, Thomas Sullivan, ed. (co-author with David L. Meyer) "Patent-Antitrust Policy: Looking Back and Ahead," 59 Antitrust Law Journal 729, 1991 "Introductory Note to EC-US Agreement on the Application of Their Competition Laws," 1487 International Legal Materials 30, 1991 "Justice Brennan as Advocate of the 'Chicago School': Making the World Safe for Maximum Resale Price Maintenance," Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation, June 8, 1990 "Changes in Antitrust Enforcement Policy Against Mergers: Rhetoric or Reality?" Legal Backgrounder, Washington Legal Foundation, February 2, 1990 "Toward a Merger Policy that Maximizes Consumer Welfare: Enforcement by Careful Analysis, Not by the Numbers," 35 Antitrust Bulletin 251, 1990 (co-author with David L. Meyer) "U.S. Justice Department Antitrust Enforcement Guidelines for International Operations," reprinted in the (1989) Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Fordham Corporate Law Institute on North American and Common Market Antitrust and Trade Laws, Barry E. Hawk, ed., 1990 "Deregulation of U.S. Airlines and the Continuing Role of the Antitrust Laws," EEC Air Transport Policy and Regulation, and Their Implications for North America, P. Haanapel, G. Petsikas, R. Rosales, J. Thaker, eds., 1989 "The Internationalization of Antitrust," 58 Antitrust Law Journal 377, 1989 "Claims of Predation in a Competitive Marketplace: When Is an Antitrust Response Appropriate?" 57 Antitrust Law Journal 421, 1988, reprinted in [1985-1997 Transfer Binder] Trade Reg. Rep., (CCH) 50,014 "Government Enforcement: Complying with Government Requests for Information," Chapter 4, 1 Antitrust Counseling and Litigation Techniques J. Von Kalinowski, ed., 1988 (co-author with Claudia Dulmage) "The Antitrust Implications of International Licensing: After the Nine No Nos" 4 Trade Reg. Rep, Commerce Clearing House, 1986
Hon. Daniel M. Friedman
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit