Austin A.B. Ownbey

Washington, DC

Clients turn to me to guide their transactions smoothly through the antitrust review process and to provide advice on minimizing antitrust liability and effectively engaging with antitrust enforcers.

Austin A.B. Ownbey concentrates his practice on counselling and representing clients in front of government antitrust enforcers, including the review of mergers and other enforcement matters before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), State Attorneys General (AGs) and competition authorities in the European Union and around the world.

Previously a staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) where he focused on merger and conduct investigations, as well as consumer protection litigation, Austin regularly represents clients before the FTC, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), State Attorneys General (AGs) and various foreign antitrust enforcement agencies.

Austin frequently counsels clients through the Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) merger review process and other merger control filings. He has worked with clients across a broad array of industries including healthcare, pharmaceuticals, financial services, cannabis and energy.

Following graduation from law school, Austin was a Dean’s Fellow in the California Attorney General’s Antitrust Law Section.


  • University of Michigan Law School, J.D., 2010
  • Oberlin College, B.A., 2003

Bar and Court Admissions


  • District of Columbia
  • California


  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to New-Indy Containerboard, a joint-venture formed by the Kraft Group and Schwarz Partners, LP, in its acquisition of Shoreline Container
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to Cultivate Holdings in its sale to Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF)
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to New England Treatment Access, LLC (NETA), a leading Massachusetts-based cannabis company, in its sale to Surterra Wellness
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to Pointillist, a developer of a customer journey analytics software intended to rapidly uncover customer insights and improve customer experience, in its sale to Genesys Cloud Services
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to GreenLight Biosciences, a biotechnology company, in a $1.2 billion SPAC business combination with Environmental Impact Acquisition Corp. (Nasdaq: ENVI), that resulted in GreenLight becoming a publicly listed company.
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to Watterson Brands, a leading national facility services company, in its sale to Highview Capital
  • Prepared HSR filing and provided antitrust guidance to global cannabis operator Columbia Care Inc. (NEO: CCHW) (CSE: CCHW) (OTCQX: CCHWF) (FSE: 3LP) in its sale to Cresco Labs (CSE:CL) (OTCQX:CRLBF)
  • Represented major company as a third-party witness in a merger challenge in the internet listing services provider industry brought by the FTC
  • Represented a leading health-services company in a multistate antitrust and consumer protection investigation relating to pharmaceutical pricing*
  • Represented a multinational medical device company in connection with a Federal Trade Commission investigation into the acquisition of a competitor, successfully negotiating a consent decree that allowed the client to complete the acquisition*
  • Advised major pharmaceutical companies on compliance with the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 and worked with clients to prepare and file required documentation with the Federal Trade Commission*
  • Represented one of the largest oilfield services companies in the world on its attempted acquisition of a major competitor*
  • Represented company that specializes in the treatment, storage, & disposal of radioactive, hazardous, and mixed wastes during its attempted sale to one of the world's largest processors of low level nuclear waste*

* - Handled prior to joining the firm


  • Federal Trade Commission, staff attorney
  • California Attorney General, Antitrust Law Section, Dean’s Fellow


  • “Acquisitions of Renewable Energy Projects Exempt Under HSR Act Could Require 60-Day Waiting Period Under Proposed New York Law,” Energy and Climate Counsel, February 28, 2022
  • “New York Proposes Broad New Pre-Merger Notification Requirement,” State AG Insights, February 10, 2022
  • “Cybersecurity 2022 – The Year in Preview: Privacy Regulations at the FTC,” Security, Privacy and the Law, February 2, 2022
  • “Requiring Robust Security for Financial Institutions, FTC Finalizes Amendments to Safeguards Rules,” Foley Hoag, Security, Privacy and the Law, November 19, 2021 
  • "Cybersecurity 2021 – The Year in Preview: The FTC’s Enforcement Priorities," Security Privacy and the Law, Foley Hoag, December 31, 2020 


Foley Hoag Publications

Honors & Involvement

  • Agents of Change, Member (Foley Hoag internal group)
  • National Lawyers Guild, DC Chapter, Executive Board of Directors Member 
  • American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
  • California Bar Association, Antitrust & Unfair Competition Section
  • American Constitution Society, DC Lawyers’ Chapter Board Member
  • The District of Columbia Bar Association, Steering Committee member for the Antitrust and Consumer Law Community and District of Columbia Affairs Community

Speaking Engagements

  • "The 21st Century Antitrust Act: New York’s Proposed Merger Control Regime," American Bar Association Webinar (March 2022)
  • “Strategic M&A Under Attack: Regulator Resistance and SPAC Competition,” BIO Webinar (February 2022)
  • D.C. Cannabis Regulations Present and Future,” D.C. Bar District of Columbia Affairs Community (December 2021)
  • "How to Navigate a Congressional Investigation," Foley Hoag Webinar (July 2021)
  • “Two Households, Both Alike In Dignity. The Intersection of Privacy & Antitrust at the FTC,” Foley Hoag Webinar (April 2021)