The U.S. Senate today confirmed William Baer to serve as Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division. The vote was 64 to 26.

Baer was nominated by the President on February 6. His nomination was reported by the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 20.

“Bill is a highly-skilled and well-respected antitrust lawyer who understands the importance of promoting competition in order for consumers to reap the benefits of lower prices and better quality products and services,” said Attorney General Holder in a December 30 statement, welcoming the confirmation.   “I have no doubt that he will lead the Antitrust Division effectively in its vigorous enforcement of the antitrust laws.”

Recently, Baer has headed the antitrust group at the Washington, D.C. office of Arnold & Porter, LLP. Baer held a number of high-level positions at the Federal Trade Commission, including director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition in the 1990s. 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.

Baer takes the helm from Renata B. Hesse, who was appointed Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division in November 2012.

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