May management moves in BC

Once again, I have the privilege of announcing that some incredibly talented lawyers in the Bureau have been promoted to management positions. 

The Anticompetitive Practices Division, which handles the Bureau’s enforcement efforts against anticompetitive conduct in industries other than health care, has two new Deputy Assistant Directors:

  • Barbara Blank, who joined ACP in 2007, and has worked on a number of cases involving anticompetitive agreements as well as unilateral conduct. Her experience includes acting as lead staff attorney in the Commission’s investigation of Google’s search practices, and negotiating a settlement of charges against the National Association of Music Merchants involving improper information sharing by the trade association. 
  • Mark Woodward, who came to the Commission in 2007 and moves to ACP from the Bureau’s Health Care Division. Mark has played a key role in the Commission’s litigation efforts to stop anticompetitive pay for delay agreements between branded and generic pharmaceutical companies, including FTC v. Actavis, the case in which the Supreme Court determined that these agreements are subject to antitrust scrutiny. During his time at the FTC, Mark also served as an Attorney Advisor to Commissioner Julie Brill.

The Mergers II Division, which covers a wide variety of industries including manufacturing, computer hardware and software, and entertainment, welcomes James Rhilinger as a Deputy Assistant Director. James came to the Commission in 2004 to work as an attorney in the Health Care Division, where he has primarily been involved in pharmaceutical conduct investigations. He has also reviewed proposed mergers, both in health care-related and other industries, sometimes working with staff from other divisions. He recently was a member of the team drafting an amicus brief filed in federal district court explaining how brand name drug manufacturers may improperly use restricted drug distribution programs to impede generic competition.

The Premerger Notification Office has relocated to the Constitution Center, but one thing that has not changed is the high level of service that is a hallmark of this group of dedicated HSR specialists. On the management front, Bob Jones was recently promoted to Assistant Director of the group, and Kate Walsh has become the Deputy Assistant Director. Bob has been with the FTC since 1990, starting out in a merger shop and moving to the PNO in 1998 when he took over duties as the Clearance Officer and Liaison to the Department of Justice. In 2002, he became the Deputy Assistant Director, and for the last twelve years, Bob has managed the work of the shop. Kate joined the PNO in 2007 from private practice, and has been instrumental in recent HSR Form revisions and other rulemakings, which have improved the efficiency of the U.S. premerger notification program.

Congratulations to all on their new positions.

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