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William J. Kolasky


William Kolasky is a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Hughes Hubbard. He has nearly 40 years of experience across the full range of antitrust litigation and counseling. Mr. Kolasky regularly represents clients in antitrust litigation before courts all over the country. He also represents clients in criminal and civil investigations before both the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission. He has secured antitrust clearance from the two agencies for more than 100 mergers and acquisitions, and has coordinated merger reviews in multiple other jurisdictions around the world. He also regularly counsels clients about antitrust aspects of a wide variety of business arrangements from joint ventures to distribution arrangements. In 2013, he received the Global Competition Review's Lifetime Achievement Award for his accomplishments in private practice, government service, and antitrust scholarship.

Mr. Kolasky served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice. While there, he was one of the architects of the International Competition Network, a network of over 100 competition authorities worldwide designed to promote great international cooperation and convergence among those authorities. He has also taught antitrust law for over ten years at the American University's Washington College of Law. 

Professional Activities

Mr. Kolasky publishes and speaks regularly on antitrust law subjects in both the United States and Europe. He has taught antitrust law at the American University’s Washington College of Law. Mr. Kolasky has been active in the Section on Antitrust Law of the American Bar Association for many years and currently serves as an Associate Editor for their Antitrust Magazine.​

Previous Experience

  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice, 2001-2002
  • Assistant to the General Counsel in the Department of the Army, 1972-1975
  • Clerkship, the Honorable Bailey Aldrich, United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, 1971-1972


  • Recipient of Global Competition Review’s 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Consistently recognized since 2005 as a national leader in antitrust in both Chambers Global and Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business
  • Recognized as a leader in his field in the 2009-2013 editions of Who’s Who of Competition Lawyers and Economists
  • Nominated by in-house counsel and peers for inclusion in the Guide to the World’s Leading Competition & Antitrust Layers, 8th Edition
  • Listed in the 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015 editions of Benchmark Litigation for his leading antitrust practice
  • Recognized by his peers as one of the world’s leading antitrust attorneys in Legal Media Group’s The Best of the Best 2006 and The Best of the Best 2011
  • Selected by his peers as one of The Best Lawyers in America in the area of antitrust law each year since 2005
  • Selected by his peers as a “Super Lawyer” in the 2007-2015 editions of Washington DC SuperLawyers
  • Named by his peers as an elite practitioner in the field of competition and antitrust in the 2013 edition of Expert Guide’s: Best of the Best USA

Court Admissions

  • ​United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Practice Groups and Other Information

Education Information

  • Harvard University School of Law, J.D., 1971
    magna cum laude
    Note Editor, Harvard Law Review
  • Dartmouth College, A.B., 1968
    magna cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia​, 1975
  • Massachusetts, 1971

Highlighted Matters

  • Currently representing a major newspaper group in an ongoing Justice Department investigation of amendments to a joint operating agreement and in a related private antitrust action seeking to enjoin their implementation. 
  • Representation of Merck & Co. in connection with its $3.85 billion acquisition of Idenix Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a biotechnology company developing drugs to cure hepatitis C, and in connection with its pending acquisition of antibiotics maker Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. for $9.5 billion.
  • Represented a major TV station group owner in the U.S. in securing antitrust clearance for a series of acquisitions over a nearly 20-year period, including its $965 million acquisition of eight stations from Allbritton Communications.
  • Secured antitrust clearance for ONEOK, one of the country’s largest midstream natural gas companies, for an $800 million acquisition of natural gas liquids pipelines and related assets in the Permian Basin.
  • Secured dismissal of an antitrust class action challenging the bundling of cable programming and successfully defended the dismissal on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
  • Settled all remaining claims against a major insurance carrier in the massive Insurance Brokerage multidistrict litigation after persuading the Third Circuit to affirm the dismissal of all federal antitrust and RICO claims against the client. 
  • Secured antitrust clearance for the mergers of the two largest regulated medical waste treatment providers and the two largest pallet suppliers in the U.S.
  • Provided antitrust advice to one of the owners of Hulu with respect to a possible restructuring.

​Highlighted Publications

Highlighted Lectures

  • “Downloading the Future: Media Mergers and Content Distribution,” 63rd ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 17, 2015)
  • “The Use of Analytics and Predictive Coding When Producing to the Government,” “Off the Record” panel discussion sponsored by the E-Discovery Committee of the D.C. Bar Litigation section, Washington, D.C. (February 5, 2015)
  • “Insurance Brokers Bid-Rigging: The Scandal and the Aftermath,” ABA Section of Antitrust Law teleseminar (January 9, 2015)

The following speeches, given by Mr. Kolasky while he was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, are available online here.

  • “Using Competition Policy to Promote International Competitiveness,” American Chamber of Commerce, Seoul Republic of Korea (November 14, 2002)
  • “The Role of Competition in Promoting Dynamic Markets and Economic Growth,” TokyoAmerica Center, Tokyo, Japan (November 12, 2002)
  • “Global Competition: Prospects for Convergence and Cooperation,” American Bar Association Fall Forum, Washington, DC (November 7, 2002)
  • “Global Competition Convergence and Cooperation: Looking Back and Looking Ahead,” American Bar Association Fall Forum, Washington, DC (November 7, 2002)
  • “What is Competition?” Seminar on Convergence, Sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Economic Affairs, The Hague, Netherlands (October 28, 2002)
  • “The International Competition Network Guiding Principles for Merger Review,” International Bar Association, Sixth Annual Competition Conference, Fiesole, Italy (September 20, 2002)
  • “Can the International Competition Network Help Tame the Growing Multinational Merger Thicket?” 2002 American Bar Association Annual Meeting (Section of Antitrust Law), Washington, DC (August 12, 2002)
  • “Antitrust Compliance Programs: The Government Perspective,” Corporate Compliance 2002 Conference, Practicing Law Institute, San Francisco, CA (July 12, 2002)
  • “A Culture of Competition for North America,” Economic Competition Day: Shared Experiences, Federal Competition Commission, Mexico City, Mexico (June 24, 2002)
  • “Sound Economics and Hard Evidence:  The Touchstones of Sound Merger Review,” Mergers & Acquisitions:  Getting Your Deal Through in the New Antitrust Climate, Co-Sponsored by  The American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law and The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, New York, NY (June 14, 2002)
  • “North Atlantic Competition Policy: Converging Toward What?” BIICL Second Annual International and Comparative Law Conference, London, England (May 17, 2002)
  • “Coordinated Effects in Merger Review: From Dead Frenchmen to Beautiful Minds and Mavericks,” The ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, DC (April 24, 2002)
  • “United States and European Competition Policy: Are There More Differences Than We Care to Admit?” European Policy Center, Brussels, Belgium (April 10, 2002)
  • “International Convergence Efforts: A U.S. Perspective Before the International Dimensions of Competition Law Conference,” International Dimensions of Competition Law Conference, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (March 22, 2002)
  • “Comparative Merger Control Analysis: Six Guiding Principles for Antitrust Agencies – New and Old,” International Bar Association, Conference on Competition Law and Policy in a Global Context, Cape Town, South Africa (March 18, 2002)
  • “U.S. and EU Competition Policy: Cartels, Mergers, and Beyond,” Council for the United States and Italy, Bi-Annual Conference, New York, NY (January 25, 2002)
June 1, 20152015 Hal White Antitrust Conference
Washington, District of Columbia
April 17, 2015ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting
Washington, District of Columbia
February 6, 2015Global Competition Review's 4th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum Conference
Miami, Florida
January 29, 2015New York State Bar Association Antitrust Law Section Annual Meeting
New York, New York
January 9, 2015ABA Antitrust Section Teleseminar on Insurance Brokerage Litigation
Houston, Texas

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