FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez and William J. Baer, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee on Tuesday. The hearing, entitled “Oversight of the Enforcement of the Antitrust Laws,” was the subcommittee’s first antitrust oversight hearing since Ramirez and Baer took the helms of their respective agencies.
In his prepared statement, Baer said that the Antitrust Division is focusing its enforcement efforts on “products consumers use every day…as well as other goods and services that have a significant impact on our nation’s economy, including health care, agriculture, transpor [...]
The Senate late on January 1 confirmed Joshua D. Wright to serve as an FTC commissioner. The Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee issued a statement on January 2, saying that Wright’s nomination, among others, had been discharged from the Committee and confirmed by the Senate.
Wright will replace FTC Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expired in September. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10.
The George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor was confirmed despite tough questioning at a Commerce Committee hearing on December 4. Wright, an economist, has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a re [...]
George Mason University Law Professor Joshua D. Wright faced tough questions from members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee on Tuesday afternoon as the committee considered his nomination to serve on the FTC.
A vote on the nomination is expected as early as next week. If confirmed, Wright would replace Commissioner J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expired in September. Rosch has publicly stated that he will remain at the Commission until his replacement is confirmed and sworn in.
Wright, an economist, has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a regular contributor to the Truth on the Market blog. Some of those writings have [...]
George Mason University (GMU) Law Professor Joshua D. Wright has been picked by the Obama Administration to replace Federal Trade Commission member J. Thomas Rosch—a fellow Republican—whose term expires later this month. The White House announced the intended nomination on September 10.
In addition to serving as a professor at GMU School of Law and holding a courtesy appointment in the Department of Economics, Wright is the Research Director and a Member of the Board of Directors of the think tank International Center for Law & Economics. He has written extensively on antitrust law and economics and is a regular contributor to Truth on the Market blog. Wright previously served as the ina [...]
Earlier this week, bi-partisan legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate to protect from employment discrimination employees, contractors, sub-contractors, or agents who report antitrust violations to the federal government. The proposed “Criminal Antitrust Anti-Retaliation Act” (S. 3462) was introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (Vermont) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa), chairman and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on July 31.
The legislation would amend the “Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act of 2004″ to prohibit discrimination against a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment. It would allow an employee who believes that retaliation has occ [...]
Last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to consider the nomination of William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. Baer was nominated in February, shortly after then Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen announced her intention to resign effective as of April 30.
“Antitrust enforcement is best when it has a sound analytical foundation and when it focuses on behavior that poses serious risk of economic harm to the American people,” said Baer in his opening remarks at the July 26 hearing. He pledged to work with the Antitrust Division’s staff to pursue enforcement policies “that are vigorous, th [...]
The Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing for next Thursday on the nomination of William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The hearing, will be held at 1:00 p.m. on July 26. It will be chaired by Senator Herb Kohl (Wisconsin), chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee.
Baer is currently the head of the antitrust group at the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, LLP. He is a former director of the FTC Bureau of Competition. While at the FTC, he also served as assistant general counsel and director of congressional relations and as an attorney advisor to the Chairman. He began his le [...]
The patent wars have become a real drag on the economy. A recent study estimated that the direct cost of patent trolls, firms that use patents solely as a source of securing revenue from litigation, exceeded $29 billion. The real costs in litigation: delayed innovation and loss of consumer choice are even greater. Now, the U.S. Congress is taking notice. Just last week, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing to examine the use of standard essential patents (SEPs) in claims before the International Trade Commission (ITC) and now the House Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on July 18.
After the Supreme Court put the brakes on some abuses of patent law in its 2006 eBay v. MercExch [...]
Ah, the Spring Meeting. God I love it.
Admittedly, the ABA Antitrust Section Spring Meeting, perhaps the profession’s preeminent event, is in some respects getting to be just a bit of a circus. What were once a handful of calm, early evening cocktail receptions in the bowels of the Marriott have grown into a deafening barrage of extravagant drink-fests, which have spilled over into the many posh surrounding hotels and restaurants, including the Willard and that exclusive, trendy new home of $20 hamburgers, Central Michel Richard. One venue on Thursday afternoon featured, in addition to the inability to hear, mini-sombrero party-favors and a mariachi band. And as proof how much the [...]
Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, the freshman Republican and Tea Party favorite, is only slightly more famous as the son of Representative Ron Paul than as the deliberate namesake of Ayn Rand. Last Thursday he introduced a genuine humdinger.
Deploying that prowess for economic and legal analysis that may characterize many ophthalmologists, Senator Paul seems to believe the bill does no more than limit FTC jurisdiction (consider his comments to that effect to The Hill).
But that is quite wrong. His so-named “Anti-Trust Freedom Act of 2012” would entirely repeal federal antitrust as to any conduct by “individuals.” It provides in its entirety as follows:
The Sherman Act (15 U.S.C. [...]