Soon after Jon Leibowitz became the head of the Federal Trade Commission in March 2009, he told attendees of the American Bar Association’s Section of Antitrust Law Spring Meeting in Washington, D.C. that they could expect continuity in enforcement at the agency. Leibowitz’s recent nomination to serve another seven years at the Commission points to a continued focus, at least in the short term, on the FTC’s current priorities. Among the chairman’s priorities have been expanding the use of the agency’s authority to prohibit unfair methods of competition under Sec. 5 of the FTC Act and targeting so-called “pay-for-delay” drug patent settlements.
The White House announced the Leibowitz nomination on March 4. The chairman’s term expired last September.
Leibowitz was sworn in as a member of the Commission in September 2004. President George W. Bush nominated Leibowitz in April 2004. He was appointed during a congressional recess after his nomination—as well as the nomination of Deborah Platt Majoras to serve as the agency’s chair—was stalled in the Senate.
Leibowitz was designated as FTC chairman by President Obama in March 2009.
Before his time at the Commission, Leibowitz served as vice president for congressional affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America from 2000 to 2004. Prior to that, he worked on Capitol Hill. Leibowitz was the Democratic chief counsel and staff director for the U.S. Senate Antitrust Subcommittee from 1997 to 2000. He also worked for Senator Herb Kohl (Wisconsin) and former Senator Paul Simon (Illinois).