Federal Trade Commission Chairman Timothy J. Muris today announced the resignation of Joseph J. Simons, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition effective August 1, 2003. Susan Creighton, Deputy Director of the Bureau, will assume Simons’ duties following his departure, and Barry Nigro, a partner with the law firm Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson will join the FTC as Deputy Director of the Bureau.
“Joe has been a valuable member of my senior management team for the past two years,” Muris said, “and has achieved major accomplishments for the Bureau and the Commission. Under Joe’s strong and capable leadership, the Bureau has continued to build on its record of success in carrying out its enforcement mission.”
During Simons’ tenure as Bureau Director, the Commission has pursued a very active merger enforcement program and reinvigorated its nonmerger enforcement program. Since his arrival two years ago, the Commission has had 46 merger enforcement actions, even in light of a substantial decline in the general level of merger activity in the economy. With respect to nonmerger enforcement, the Commission opened up well over 100 investigations, and has taken enforcement action in 25 cases over this period, which is 30 percent higher than any two year period since the mid 1980s. In fiscal year 2003, the Commission has already voted out 15 nonmerger cases, which equals the highest annual level since 1980.
Over the past two years, the Commission has initiated numerous Part III enforcement actions, including challenges to two consummated mergers (MSC and Chicago Bridge & Iron) and the commencement of several major nonmerger cases (Three Tenors, Rambus, Unocal, Brown & Toland Medical Group, and Intrastate Movers Rate Associations). During Simons’ tenure, the Commission also has authorized federal court challenges to numerous proposed mergers, including the Commission’s successful challenge to Libbey/Anchor Hocking and the abandonment after challenge of proposed mergers in Meade/Tosco, Vlasic/Claussen, and Cytyc/Digene. The Bureau also has undertaken numerous steps to improve the efficiency and transparency of its review process. These steps include the adoption of a new set of Guidelines for Merger Investigations, a statement on negotiating merger remedies, and public statements outlining the reasons for not taking action in certain merger matters.
Under Simons’ leadership, the Commission also continued its pattern of strong bi-partisan antitrust enforcement. During a two-year period, Simons participated in well over 60 cases that resulted in enforcement action by the Commission, and in all but one case, the Commission votes were unanimous.
Creighton was named Deputy Director of the Bureau in August 2001. She came to the Commission from the law firm of Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, where she had specialized in antitrust and intellectual property litigation. Creighton started at Wilson Sonsini in 1987 and became a partner in 1990. Before joining Wilson Sonsini, Creighton served as a law clerk for Judge Pamela Ann Rymer on the District Court of the Central District of California, and then for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor on the United States Supreme Court. Creighton is a graduate of Harvard University and Stanford Law School.
Nigro joins the Commission from the Washington, DC office of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, where he has been a partner since 1999. Earlier in his career, he served five years with the law firm of Collier, Shannon, Rill and Scott, PLLC. Nigro has been active in Antitrust Section activities for both the American Bar Association and the District of Columbia Bar. He graduated from Georgetown University in 1982 with a B.A. in economics and received his J.D. in 1986 from George Washington University, where he served as a member of the George Washington Law Review. Nigro will join the Commission effective July 14, 2003.
The Commission vote to approve the appointment of Susan Creighton as Director of the Bureau of Competition was 5-0.
(FTC File No. P010101)