Rani A. Habash
Partner | Washington, D.C.
Rani A. Habash

Rani A. Habash advises clients on the antitrust aspects of mergers, acquisitions, and joint ventures. He has helped guide industry-leading companies to successful strategic transactions in the face of intense antitrust scrutiny by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Federal Trade Commission, Senate and House Judiciary Committees, state attorneys general, and international competition authorities.

Using his expertise in economics and significant experience in dealing with antitrust agencies, Mr. Habash has helped clients secure regulatory clearance in numerous high-profile transactions, including deals between American Airlines/US Airways, Albertsons/Safeway, CVS Health/AetnaCVS Health/Target Corporation, FMC Corporation/DowDuPont, Medco/Express Scripts, Monster.com/Yahoo! HotJobs, and OfficeMax/Office Depot, among others. In addition, Mr. Habash defends companies in government antitrust investigations and helps them further key corporate strategies by providing antitrust counseling on conduct, distribution, government affairs, and public relations issues.

Mr. Habash was recognized as a "Future Leader" by Who's Who Legal in its 2020, 2021, and 2022 Competition guide. The National Law Journal named Mr. Habash a “D.C. Rising Star” in 2019. This award recognized lawyers for the substantial legal influence they wield within their practice areas and as innovators with strong leadership qualities, superior legal expertise, and a commitment to pro bono, charitable, and professional volunteer work.

Mr. Habash has held leadership positions in the ABA’s Section of Antitrust Law on the Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Counseling, and Membership and Diversity Committees. He also served as the editor of The Antitrust Counselor, an ABA newsletter with practical antitrust guidance for in-house counsel.

Mr. Habash is a frequent author and speaker on cutting-edge antitrust issues. Notably, he has helped develop the Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker (DAMITT), which tracks and reports on U.S. antitrust merger investigation trends. Data from DAMITT has been cited by The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Time, TheStreet, and many other leading publications.

  • Guided CVS Health to antitrust approval for its $70 billion acquisition of Aetna, the largest healthcare services deal ever and the largest announced deal of 2017.  
  • Acted for US Airways in its successful merger with American Airlines to create a premier global carrier with an equity value of more than US$17 billion after an intense DOJ and congressional review of the transaction.
  • Obtained unconditional clearance for OfficeMax’s merger of equals with Office Depot following an eight-month investigation by the FTC and the Attorneys General of several states. The FTC unanimously voted to close its investigation of the merger of the second and third largest chains of office supply superstores. Similar industry transactions prior to and following this successful transaction were enjoined by the FTC.
  • Guided Albertsons and its parent Cerberus to a settlement with the FTC and several states that enabled the parties to complete the US$9.4 billion acquisition of Safeway in the largest supermarket merger ever by combined store count.
  • Guided Medco Health Solutions, Inc. in obtaining antitrust clearance for its US$34 billion merger with Express Scripts to create the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit manager. The transaction was cleared unconditionally following a rigorous investigation by the FTC, more than 30 State Attorneys General, the Senate Judiciary Committee, and the House Judiciary Committee. In the face of public opposition by more than eighty members of Congress, scores of trade associations and consumer groups, and competitors, Mr. Habash also helped develop political and public relations strategies to guide the merger to success.
  • Advised CVS Caremark in its joint venture with Cardinal Health to create the largest U.S. generic drug sourcing company. 
  • Counseled FMC Corporation on the sale of its Health and Nutrition business to DowDuPont in exchange for portions of DuPont’s global crop protection business, which were divested as a condition of DuPont’s merger with Dow. Mr. Habash helped FMC secure regulatory clearance from the U.S. DOJ, European Commission, Brazil’s Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE), and many other international authorities.
  • Obtained a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the Marshall family in the long-running litigation over the claims of Anna Nicole Smith to her former husband’s estate. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed a 9th Circuit ruling in favor of the Marshall family against Anna Nicole Smith’s estate in a decision that has been called a “momentous constitutional ruling” on the authority of the bankruptcy courts. Stern v. Marshall, 131 S. Ct. 2594 (2011).
  • Secured unconditional FTC clearance for Monster Worldwide’s acquisition of HotJobs from Yahoo! Inc. Both parties operated leading online job boards. After a full FTC investigation, including the issuance of second requests, the FTC unconditionally cleared the transaction.
  • Obtained unconditional DOJ clearance for Ritchie Bros., the world’s largest industrial auctioneer, in its  acquisition of rival IronPlanet, a leading online marketplace for industrial equipment auctions, following the issuance of second requests. The transaction combined a leading brick-and-mortar competitor with a leading online competitor, raising unique antitrust issues requiring advanced economic analyses to demonstrate that the transaction would not harm competition in either selling channel.
  • Obtained unconditional FTC clearance for Kinray, Inc., the largest drug wholesaler to independent pharmacies in the New York City area, in its US$1.4 billion sale to Cardinal Health, one of the leading drug wholesalers in the United States. 
  • Represented dialysis provider DSI Renal in its successful US$760 million strategic sale to DaVita, one of the nation’s leading dialysis firms.
  • Obtained unconditional DOJ clearance for One Equity Partners’ US$600 million sale of Prodigy Health Group, the nation’s largest independent third-party administrator of self-funded health care plans, to Aetna.
  • Secured FTC approval of DNA Diagnostics Center (DDC), the nation’s largest provider of private DNA testing services, as an upfront buyer to acquire Orchid Cellmark, Inc.’s government paternity testing business as part of an FTC divestiture order that enabled LabCorp to complete its acquisition of Orchid Cellmark.
  • Remedies: Towards a Simplification in the EU, UK and US? — Global Merger Control Conference | Agencies and General Counsel: What’s on their radar?, Dechert LLP and Concurrences, Paris (December 8, 2023)
  • Closing the deal: Merger clearance for strategic acquisitions - Inside Antitrust 2023: Navigating an evolving landscape, Dechert, Philadelphia, PA (March 28, 2023)
  • Technology/Digital Merger Reviews - 10th Global Merger Control Conference, Concurrences, Paris (December 2, 2022)
  • Fundamentals of Antitrust – ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 6, 2022)
  • Antitrust Boiling Points: The Role of Hot Documents in Antitrust Merger Investigations – Dechert LLP, Webinar (November 16, 2021) 
  • Thriving in the New Antitrust Paradigm: Part 1 – Merger Clearance – Dechert LLP, Webinar (October 27, 2021)
  • Now Trending: Vertical Healthcare Deals— ABA Antitrust in Healthcare Virtual Conference (February 11, 2021)
  • Covenants, Conditions & Commas, Oh My! — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (June 11, 2020)
  • Vertical Mergers: Assessing Antitrust Risk and Maximizing Clearance Prospects — Dechert Antitrust Client Webinar (June 10, 2020) 
  • Evolving Standards on Resale Price Maintenance, Tying and Other Vertical Restraints — Practising Law Institute (PLI) Developments in Antitrust Law & Regulation Conference, New York, NY (April 6, 2020)
  • Winds of Change? Reactions to the Vertical Merger Guidelines and a Lookback at Prior Deals — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Mergers & Acquisitions Committee (April 3, 2020)
  • 2019 DAMITT Year in Review — Dechert Antitrust Merger Investigation Timing Tracker Webinar (January 29, 2020)
  • The Role of PBM Middlemen and the State of Antitrust Enforcement ABA Section of Antitrust Law Federal Civil Enforcement, Health Care & Pharmaceuticals, and State Enforcement Committees (July 15, 2019)
  • Cutting Edge Issues in Merger Clearance — Dechert Antitrust Client Seminar, Philadelphia, PA (March 26, 2019)
  • Hard Topics in Antitrust Risk Allocation — New York State Bar Association's Antitrust Section Mergers Committee, New York, NY (April 26, 2018)
  • Pathways to Leadership — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2018) 
  • Negotiating Key Antitrust Terms and Risk in M&A Agreements — Dechert Antitrust Client Seminar, Philadelphia, PA (April 10, 2018)
  • Benchmarking: Legitimate Corporate Communication or Potential Collusion? — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (March 30, 2017)
  • Monthly Antitrust Update for In-House Counsel — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Corporate Counseling Committee (June 9, 2016)
  • Big Government Is Slowing Down Deals More Than Ever — TheStreet.com Interview, New York, NY (April 28, 2016)
  • Pathways to Leadership — ABA Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting, Washington, D.C. (April 5, 2016)


    • West Virginia University, B.S., Economics, 2006, summa cum laude
    • The George Washington University Law School, J.D., 2009, Order of the Coif
    • District of Columbia
    • Virginia
    • Vice Chair, ABA Section of Antitrust Law's Membership and Diversity Committee (2017-present)
    • Vice Chair, ABA Section of Antitrust Law’s Corporate Counseling Committee (2014-2017)
    • Young Lawyer Representative, ABA Section of Antitrust Law’s Mergers & Acquisitions Committee (2012-2014)