Federal Trade Commission Chairman William E. Kovacic announced today that Jeffrey Schmidt, Director of the Bureau of Competition for the past two-and-a-half years, will leave the FTC, and that David P. Wales, currently a Deputy Director, has been named Acting Director.
“Jeff has done superb work for this agency and our nation. He has set the highest standards for the practice of law in promoting the interests of American consumers. The FTC’s place in the front ranks of competition agencies worldwide owes much to his efforts,” Chairman Kovacic said. “We are most fortunate that Dave Wales will become the Bureau’s Acting Director.”
Schmidt joined the Commission in February 2005 as Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition. As Director, he supervised the Bureau’s merger and non-merger enforcement divisions, played a key role in developing antitrust policy, secured important changes in the Bureau’s infrastructure and merger review processes, and managed Bureau resources during a time when the FTC’s federal court case docket was greatly expanded.
In the merger area, Schmidt directed enforcement efforts against several proposed transactions, including district court challenges in the Whole Foods/Wild Oats, Inova/Prince William Hospital, and Equitable/Dominion matters. He also helped lead the FTC in gaining favorable enforcement results in Allegan/Inamed, Fresenius/Renal Care Group, Boston Scientific/Guidant, Linde/BOC, Compagnie de Saint-Gobain/Owens Corning, Schering Plough/AkzoNobel, Johnson & Johnson/Pfizer, and Carlyle Partners/INEOS Group, Ltd.
In the non-merger area, Schmidt was responsible for supervising challenges in several matters, including Cephalon and Warner-Chilcott in the pharmaceutical industry and MiRealSource and RealComp in the real estate industry.
After leaving the Commission, Schmidt will join the Linklaters law firm as a partner in their New York office.
Wales joined the FTC from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where he was a partner in the firm’s antitrust group, focusing his practice on litigation, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, distribution arrangements, and grand jury investigations. Before joining Cadwalader, he was a partner in the antitrust practice group at Shearman & Sterling LLP. From 2001 to 2003, he served as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General in the Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice, handling the full range of policy, investigative, and enforcement matters before the Division. Wales has served as a deputy director of the Bureau of Competition since April 2006.
Wales earned his law degree, magna cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where he was a member of the Syracuse Law Review and Order of the Coif. He received his undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University. He holds a leadership position in the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association and is a member of the bars of the District of Columbia and New York State.
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