University of Iowa law professor Herbert Hovenkamp will advise President Obama on antitrust policy as part of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law’s Transition Report Task Force. The Task Force, like ABA Task Forces established in other areas of law, provides incoming presidents with the ABA’s positions on antitrust policy issues.Hovenkamp—author of the landmark antitrust treatise Antitrust Law: An Analysis ofAntitrust Principles and Their Application (CCH Incorporated)—works with approximately 40 other Task Force members, mostly comprising antitrust scholars and lawyers. Douglas Melamed, General Counsel of Intel Corp., and Donald Klawiter, a partner in Sheppard Mullins’s Washington, D.C. office, co-chair the group. The Task Force seeks to promote innovation, stronger markets, and competitiveness.
Hovenkamp believes the Task Force’s report would have taken the same form regardless of the candidate elected in November, and that it will not demand many changes from the Obama Administration, although it may be more detailed than the Task Force’s 2008 report.“I don’t think anything in the report will prompt Obama to change direction,” Hovenkamp observed. “Even the Republicans on the committee felt that not a lot of changes were needed, which is a credit to the current administration’s policies of the last four years.”
The report will be reviewed by the White House, and likely by the director of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. The Task Force’s 2008 report can be found here on the ABA website.