This posting was written by Jeffrey May, Editor of CCH Trade Regulation Reporter.
President Barack Obama intends to nominate Bill Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, according to a February 3 White House announcement. Baer would succeed Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen, who will resign effective April 30 to return to private practice.
Currently the head of the antitrust group at the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, LLP, Baer has held a number of high-level positions at the Federal Trade Commission, including director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in the 1990s.
During his tenure, the Bureau of Competition was very active in the merger enforcement area. Among the most notable cases was the FTC’s successful challenge to the merger of office supply superstores Staples and Office Depot (1997-2 Trade Cases ¶71,867, 970 F. Supp. 1066 (D.D.C. 1997)).
After earning a J.D. at Stanford Law School, Baer began his legal career in 1975 as a trial attorney for the FTC Bureau of Consumer Protection. He joined Arnold & Porter in 1980, becoming a partner at the firm in 1983. In his practice, Baer represents a broad range of companies in U.S. and international cartel investigations, mergers and acquisition reviews, and in antitrust litigation, it was noted.