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Michael W. Scarborough
Michael W. Scarborough
Partner — Antitrust
Partner — Antitrust

Michael W. Scarborough

Michael W. Scarborough
San Francisco

555 Mission Street
Suite 2000
San Francisco, California 94105

Michael W. Scarborough
  • Represented leading international electronic component manufacturers in criminal proceedings and civil price-fixing class actions, opt-out cases and State Attorneys General actions concerning thin film transistor liquid crystal display products; In re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1827, including groundbreaking litigation regarding the Antitrust Division Leniency Program and Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement Reform Act (618 F.Supp.2d 1194) and dismissal of multi-billion dollar opt-out claims based on overseas purchases under the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act. Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., 775 F.3d 816 (7th Cir. 2015)

  • Lead counsel for property lessor in connection with series of consolidated class actions alleging conspiracy to increase or stabilize the price of multifamily apartments using common revenue management software; In re RealPage, Inc., Rental Software Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 3071

  • As lead counsel for major global provider of cybersecurity products, obtained complete dismissal of antitrust boycott and refusal to deal claims regarding testing standards development, as well as closure of related Department of Justice Antitrust Division investigation without action; NSS Labs v. Crowdstrike, Inc., Case No. 5:18-cv-5711 BLF (N.D. Cal.)

  • Lead counsel defending national property lessor in putative national class action alleging conspiracy to increase or stabilize the price of multifamily apartments using common revenue management software; Duffy v. Yardi Systems, Inc., Case No. 2:23-cv-1391 RSL (W.D. Wash.)

  • As national counsel for industry-leading global electronics companies, obtained corporate criminal leniency and defended civil price-fixing class and opt-out actions regarding lithium ion rechargeable battery products; In re Lithium Ion Batteries Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 2420

  • Lead counsel for confidential consumer product distributor in Department of Justice Antitrust Division market allocation criminal investigation, which was concluded without action

  • Representing major real estate brokerage in antitrust class actions alleging conspiracy to force home-sellers and home-buyers to pay inflated sales commissions to real estate brokerages; Gibson v. The National Association of Realtors, Case No. 4:23-cv-00788-SRB (W.D. Mo.); Batton v. Compass, Inc., Case No. 1:23-cv-15618-ARW (N.D. Ill.)

  • As national counsel, represented multinational electronics companies in federal criminal and state government enforcement actions and private civil price-fixing class and opt-out cases regarding cathode ray tube products; In re Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1917

  • As lead counsel, defended automotive parts manufacturing company against antitrust boycott claims; O.E.M. Glass Network, Inc. v. Mygrant, Case No. 1:19-cv-0742 NGG (E.D.N.Y.)

  • As lead counsel for UK-based luxury fashion house, obtained dismissal of putative national consumer antitrust class action regarding alleged price-fixing of consumer eyewear; Fathmath v. EssilorLuxottica S.A., Case No. 3:23-cv-3626 JD (N.D. Cal.)

  • Defended global electronics companies in consolidated class and individual actions alleging price-fixing of flash memory products; In re Flash Memory Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1852

  • Obtained corporate criminal leniency and defended international electronics companies in civil price-fixing class actions regarding static random access memory chip products; In re SRAM Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1819

  • Lead counsel for information technology services company and top executive with respect to criminal Sherman Act bid-rigging charges and related false claims and unfair competition civil action by California Attorney General; U.S. v. Brewer, Case No. 2:16-cr-0239 MCE (E.D. Cal.); California v. Pro Network Tools, Inc., San Francisco Superior Case No. CGC-15-545177

  • As national counsel, defended civil price-fixing and government enforcement actions against leading international electronics companies regarding dynamic random access memory chip products; In re DRAM Antitrust Litig., MDL No. 1486

  • Lead counsel for largest pure-play E&P shale oil company in the Delaware Basin in multiple antitrust consumer class actions alleging  conspiracy to decrease domestic shale oil production; Rosenbaum v. Permian Resources Corp., et al, Case No. 24-cv-00103-MMD-MDC (D. Nev.); MDL No. 3119

  • Lead counsel for global European energy company with respect to civil investigative requests from the California Attorney General and related civil litigation regarding allegedly anticompetitive energy trading practices; California v. Vitol Inc., et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-20-584456; In Re California Gasoline Spot Market Antitrust Litig., Case No. 20-cv-03131-JSC (N.D. Cal.)

  • Obtained closure of Department of Justice Antitrust Division price fixing and market allocation criminal investigation into one of world’s largest energy companies without any indictments

  • Representing leading national fuel company with respect to regulatory inquiries by the Department of Petroleum Market Oversight within the California Energy Commission and the Antitrust Section of the California Attorney General’s Office

  • Representing confidential multinational energy client in internal investigation into antitrust criminal matters and related compliance issues

  • Lead antitrust counsel for automotive component supplier seeking declaratory relief and determination and imposition of FRAND licensing terms in action challenging monopolization and concerted refusal to license alleged standard essential patents relevant to cellular standards on FRAND terms and conditions; Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. v. Avanci, LLC, Case No. 19-cv-2933-M (N.D. Tex.); Fifth Circuit Appeal No. 20-11032

  • Secured complete dismissal of all claims against global leading mobile device manufacturer in boycott and monopolization case relating to smartphone patent licensing, based on lack of antitrust standing and failure to allege a plausible conspiracy; obtained affirmance of defense judgment on appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals; Cascades v. RPX Corp., Samsung Electronics, Co., Ltd., Case No. 4:12-cv-1143 YGR (N.D. Cal.); Ninth Circuit Appeal No. 16-15782, F. App’x 553, 555 (9th Cir. Dec. 11, 2017)

  • Antitrust counsel for global electronics company defending IP-related antitrust claims in multi-billion dollar litigation with Rambus, coordinating with patent counsel in worldwide related proceedings; Rambus Inc. v. Micron Technology, Inc., et al., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. CGC-04-431105

  • Represented leading international smartphone manufacturer in global patent and standards related antitrust governmental proceedings and private antitrust actions involving major technology companies and patent licensors

  • Obtained complete dismissal of sham litigation, predatory pricing and state unfair competition counterclaims in patent infringement action concerning electric grid voltage optimization technology; RGA Varentec, Inc. v. GridCo, Inc., Case No. 16-217-RGA-MPT (D. Del.)

  • Lead trial counsel for global micro-irrigation companies and design firms as plaintiffs in action alleging group boycott conspiracies among manufacturers of micro-irrigation products in violation of California’s Cartwright Act and Unfair Competition Law, and as defendants in companion Lanham Act and antitrust action; Jain Irrigation, Inc., et al. v. Netafim Irrigation, Inc., San Diego Superior Case No. 37-2019-00035422-CU-AT-CTL; Netafim Irrigation, Inc. Jain Irrigation, Inc., Case No. 1:21-cv-00540-AWI-EPG (E.D. Cal.)

  • Representing multiple prominent hospital systems asserting Section 1 claims against MultiPlan, Inc. regarding conspiracy to underpay out-of-network healthcare reimbursements; Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corp. v. MultiPlan, Inc., No. 23-cv-07031-ER (S.D.N.Y.); CHS/Community Health Systems, Inc. v. MultiPlan, Inc., No. 24-cv-03544-ER (S.D.N.Y.)

  • As lead trial counsel, defended telescope manufacturer against price-fixing, market allocation, attempted monopolization, and related state law claims, including through six-week jury trial, obtaining summary judgment on below-cost pricing and refusal to deal claims prior to trial; Optronic Technologies, Inc. v. Ningbo Sunny Electronic Co., Ltd., Case No. 5:16-cv-6370 EJD (N.D. Cal.)

  • Represented largest independent publisher of yellow pages phone directories in California as plaintiff in below cost pricing, loss leader and secret rebate action under California Unfair Practices Act; AGI Publishing, Inc. v. YP Western Directory, Fresno Superior Case No. 14 CE CG 00656

  • Represented Mastercard in series of actions challenging foreign currency conversion practices under California Unfair Competition Law, including five-month trial and successful defense appeal of judgment; Schwartz v. Visa International Service Association, MasterCard International, Inc., et al. (2005) 132 Cal.App.4th 1452; In re Currency Conversion Fee, MDL No. 1409

  • Defended leading global payments network in coordinated class actions and related appeals concerning alleged payment card tying and network exclusionary practices; In re Credit/Debit Card Tying Cases, Cal. Jud. Council Coord. Proc. No. 4335

  • In numerous separate actions, defended Samsung Electronics companies against claims of false and misleading advertising of inkjet printers, MP3 players and hard disk drives, respectively, under California’s Unfair Competition Law, False Advertising Law and Consumers Legal Remedies Act

  • Secured dismissal of putative class action against leading global payments network under California consumer privacy laws regarding highly publicized third party processor data security breach; Parke v. CardSystems Solutions, Inc., San Francisco Superior Case No. CGC-05-442624

  • Counsel for Mastercard in numerous putative class and individual actions brought variously by consumers, merchants and acquiring institutions, involving challenges to payment network’s fraud protection, chargeback processing, merchant termination and MATCH policies, programs and contracts

  • As counsel for leading media companies, blocked private antitrust challenge to acquisition of Contra Costa Times and San Jose Mercury NewsReilly v. MediaNews Group, Inc. et al., Case No. 06-cv-04332-SI (N.D. Cal.)

  • Participated in successful trial defense of leading global, diversified information, services and media company’s acquisition of the San Francisco Chronicle; Reilly v. The Hearst Corporation, et al.(N.D. Cal. 2000) 107 F.Supp.2d 1192, 2000-2 Trade Cas. (CCH) ¶ 72,992


  • J.D., University of California, Berkeley, 1999
  • B.A., University of Virginia, 1993, with distinction, Phi Beta Kappa
  • Chambers USA, Antitrust (California), 2018–2024
  • Chambers USA, “Up and Coming” in Antitrust, 2016 and 2017
  • Lawdragon, 500 Leading Litigators in America, 2023 and 2024
  • Daily Journal, Top Antitrust Lawyer, 2020
  • The American Lawyer, Litigator of the Week, February 25, 2016
  • Competition Law360 – Rising Star (selected as one of the top 10 competition lawyers in the United States under the age of 40), 2010
  • Legal 500 U.S., “Recommended Lawyer” in Antitrust: Cartel, 2015–2024;
    Antitrust: Civil Litigation/Class Actions: Defense, 2015–2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year,” Antitrust Law, 2023; and
    Antitrust Law, Litigation–Antitrust, 2020–2024
  • Benchmark Litigation, Litigation Star/Antitrust Star/California Litigation Star, 2009–2024
  • Global Competition Review, Litigation of the Year – Cartel Defense, Motorola Mobility LLC v. AU Optronics Corp., 2015
  • Who’s Who Legal: Competition, 2023
  • Attorney Intel, Top 50 Attorney of San Francisco, 2023
  • Acritas Stars, Star Lawyer, 2017–2022
  • Selected to the Northern California Super Lawyers list, Super Lawyers® (Thomson Reuters), 2014–2023
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
  • Advisor to Executive Committee, California Lawyers Association Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section
  • Executive Committee, Antitrust and Business Regulation Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco
  • California
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, Ninth and Federal Circuits
  • U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California



  • The US DoJ updates its leniency policy and issues a revised set of answers to frequently asked questions, Concurrences. e-Competitions Antitrust Bulletin, April 4, 2022
  • Privacy Now Looms Large In Antitrust Enforcement, Law360, September 17, 2021
  • Amnesty and Its Punishments: ACPERA and the Future of U.S. Antitrust Cartel Enforcement, The Legal 500 – Cartels Country Comparative Guide, April 30, 2020
  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Vitamin C and the Future of U.S. Antitrust Enforcement Against Chinese Companies, The Legal 500 – Cartels Country Comparative Guide, April 3, 2019
  • Northern District of California Releases Comprehensive Procedural Guidance for Class Action Settlements, Los Angeles & San Francisco Daily Journal, November 15, 2018
  • Inside The EU’s Overcharge Pass-On Study, Law360, October 27, 2016
  • The New Face of Antitrust Investigations in China, Daily Journal, October 23, 2013
  • The Case For Eliminating ACPERA’s Supplemental Cooperation Requirement For Amnesty Applicants, Competition: The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 20, No. 2, Fall 2011
  • Contributing author, Model Jury Instructions in Criminal Antitrust Cases, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, 2009
  • Contributing author, California State Antitrust & Unfair Competition Law, The State Bar of California Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section, 2009

Speaking Engagements

  • Cartels: How are the Authorities Handling Them?, Informa Antitrust West Coast Conference,
    San Francisco, CA, May 11, 2023
  • High-Tech Focus: IP and Antitrust, Informa Antitrust West Coast Conference, San Francisco, CA, May 13, 2022
  • The Changing Landscape of Class Action Settlement Approval Under FRCP 23, Bar Association of San Francisco, Antitrust and Business Regulation Section, January 8, 2019
  • Procedural Steps and Pitfalls in Antitrust Class Actions, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, May 14, 2018
  • IBRAC’s 23rd Annual International Seminar on Competition Defense, Controversial Issues in Antitrust Civil Liability, Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, Brasil, October 25, 2017
  • How Do Companies Resolve Worldwide Claims – What are the Risks and Opportunities, International Developments in Private Competition Litigation Conference, Madrid, Spain, April 27, 2017