Dave Gelfand is one of the country’s leading antitrust lawyers; his practice spans merger review, civil litigation, and criminal investigations.

Dave started his career in 1987 at one of Washington, D.C.’s premier litigation boutique firms. He joined Cleary in 1991 and has concentrated on antitrust work for the past 25 years. He became a partner of the firm in 1997 and was resident in our Brussels office from 2001 to 2004. Dave became senior counsel in 2022.

From 2013 to 2016, Dave was the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Litigation in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that role, he oversaw antitrust litigation at the Justice Department and was involved in several major matters including the investigation and challenges to the USAir/AA, Comcast/TWC, Halliburton/Baker Hughes, and General Electric/Electrolux mergers.

Dave has handled matters across a wide range of industries including oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, steel, aluminum, retailing, consumer products, software, internet services, transportation, electronic exchanges, and media. His clients value his breadth of knowledge and experience, his focus on getting results that align with business objectives, and his practical advice on difficult issues and situations.

Notable Experiences

Litigation and Investigations

  • Change Healthcare in a federal trial brought by the U.S. DOJ challenging the $13.8 billion merger between Change Healthcare and UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit.

  • JUUL Labs in FTC Part 3 administrative proceedings and private antitrust class actions in the Northern District of California.

  • Leroy Seafood in defense of ongoing antitrust class action litigation alleging price-fixing among North Atlantic salmon farms.

  • Commercial Metals Company in a private antitrust action in the Northern District of California.

  • T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom in the federal court trial brought by a coalition of state attorneys general challenging the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, which resulted in a combined company with an enterprise value of $146 billion.

  • EquiLend in the defense of an antitrust class action brought by three U.S. pension funds alleging a conspiracy among EquiLend (a securities lending platform) and six major investment banks in the stock lending market.

  • Molson Coors in the defense of a claim by a U.S. brewer alleging that an antitrust violation affected exports to Canada.

  • Sanofi US in defending against a multibillion-dollar monopolization lawsuit brought by a competitor challenging Sanofi’s loyalty discounts for its anticoagulant drug Lovenox.

  • Sybase, an SAP company, in defense of class action litigation alleging violations in standards established for SMS messages.

  • Whirlpool and Brazilian subsidiary Embraco in cartel investigations in the refrigeration compressor industry (including in Embraco’s DOJ plea agreement), and in related U.S. class action litigation.

  • ArcelorMittal in federal antitrust class action alleging an industry-wide agreement among steel producers to reduce output.

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  • Figma in U.S. antitrust review of proposed acquisition by Adobe.

  • JUUL Labs in connection with a $12.8 billion investment by Altria Group in JUUL.

  • Commercial Metals Company in its $600 million acquisition of certain U.S. rebar steel mill and fabrication assets from Gerdau S.A., combining two of the three largest rebar producers in the U.S.

  • Funimation Global Group, a subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment, in its $1.175 billion acquisition of Crunchyroll, AT&T’s anime streaming service.

  • Change Healthcare Inc. in its acquisition by Optum, a part of UnitedHealth Group.

  • T-Mobile US and Deutsche Telekom in T-Mobile US’s merger with Sprint Corporation for a total combined enterprise value of $146 billion.

  • Essilor in its $49 billion acquisition of Luxottica, owner of Ray-Ban and Oakley.

  • KLA-Tencor in its $3.4 billion acquisition of Orbotech.

  • Couche-Tard, the parent of Circle K, in several recent transactions including its $4.4 billion acquisition of the 1,800 convenience store chain, CST.

  • Google in its acquisitions of Motorola Mobility, AdMob, and DoubleClick, among other matters.

  • Dollar Thrifty in its acquisition by Hertz (a merger involving multiple competing bids over 30 months).

  • GlaxoSmithKline in numerous transactions including its acquisition of Stiefel Laboratories.

  • Molson Coors in its joint venture with SABMiller, which combined their U.S. operations.

  • IMS Health in its acquisition of SDI Health.

  • Royal DSM in numerous transactions, including its acquisitions of Ocean Nutrition Canada, Kensey Nash, and Martek.

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Litigating the Facts,” co-authored with Leah Brannon and Gabriel Lazarus, The Antitrust Source, April 2024.

FTC & DOJ Propose Radical Changes to Merger Guidelines,” July 2023.

Sweeping Changes to Premerger (HSR) Process in the United States Proposed by Enforcement Agencies,” June 2023.

The Change Healthcare Decision and Implications for Private Equity Sponsors,” October 2022.

U.S. DOJ and FTC Announce Plan to Revamp Merger Guidelines,” January 2022.

The ‘Twenty-First Century Antitrust Act’ Raises the Risks of Doing Business in New York,” June 2021

T-Mobile Sprint: Winning The Case The Experts Said Couldn’t Be Won Podcast, Episode 3,” The Deal, December, 2020 

U.S. Agencies Publish Final Revised Vertical Merger Guidelines,” July 2020 

Avoiding or Defeating Potential Antitrust and Other Civil Suits Relating to Anti-Price Gouging Laws,” June 2020

Target’s Termination of Merger Agreement Approved Based on Plain Contract Language,” March 2019, republished by the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial Regulation.

Vertical Restraints: Evolution from Per Se to Rule of Reason Analysis,” November 2017

A Promise Kept,” May 2017

A Primer on Litigating the Fix,” November 2016

“Roundtable: Current Substantive and Procedural Issues Facing Merger Practitioners” October 2016

Remarks at the Bates White Antitrust Conference, Washington, D.C., June 7, 2016

“Preserving Competition: The Only Solution, Evolve,” April 24, 2015

“Reflections On The Past Year At The Antitrust Division,” September 16, 2014