Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons has made two appointments to the Bureau of Competition’s senior leadership team. Simons announced that, with the approval of the Federal Trade Commission, Ian Conner will assume the position of Bureau Director effective December 20, 2019. Simons also announced that Daniel Francis will be appointed Deputy Director and will serve with current Deputy Director Gail Levine.
“I’m confident that this team will continue the Bureau of Competition’s vigorous enforcement efforts, building on multiple significant merger and conduct challenges over the past two years, which have resulted in wins at the district court, administrative, and appellate levels,” said Chairman Simons. “This Bureau leadership is dedicated to ensuring that the FTC protects consumers from antitrust violations and promotes competitive markets.”
Conner has served as a Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition since September 2017. During his tenure, he has supervised multiple litigations and consent matters, including the Commission’s challenges to Sanford/Mid Dakota Clinic, J.M. Smucker/Conagra, Wilhelmsen/Drew, and Fidelity/Stewart, as well as conduct challenges, including the Qualcomm, Benco, and Surescripts litigations. He also coordinated several of the Bureau’s recent process initiatives, including development of the Model Timing Agreement, creation of the Technology Task Force, and the reinvigorated Competition Matters blog series.
Francis joined the Bureau of Competition in May 2018 as Senior Counsel to the Director and was subsequently promoted to Associate Director for Digital Markets. Prior to joining the Bureau, Francis was a Climenko Fellow and Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School and Counsel at Shearman & Sterling LLP in Washington, DC. Francis has been involved in several of the Bureau’s significant matters in the last year, including the Bureau’s challenge of Surescripts’s anticompetitive conduct, the Bureau’s ongoing litigation regarding Qualcomm’s anticompetitive conduct, and the Bureau’s challenge to the acquisition of Stewart by Fidelity in the title insurance industry. Francis will oversee the Mergers III, Mergers IV, and Anticompetitive Practices Divisions, as well as competition matters in the Northwestern and Western Regional Offices.
Levine has served as a Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition since October 2018, having previously worked at the agency from 2000-2006. Levine has overseen the Technology Task Force since its launch in February 2019 and shepherded its transition to becoming the Technology Enforcement Division. She has supervised many of the Bureau’s most significant recent matters, including the challenge of the Evonik/PeroxyChem and Otto Bock/Freedom mergers, and resolution of the Staples/Essendant and Fresenius/NxStage matters. In addition, she has overseen the $50 million settlement with the maker of an opioid treatment drug, FTC v. Reckitt Benckiser Group, PLC, based on allegations of anticompetitive product hopping, and she supervised the favorable settlement of the seminal reverse-payment case, FTC v. Actavis. Levine will continue to oversee the Mergers I, Mergers II, Healthcare and Technology Enforcement Divisions, as well as competition matters in the Northeast Regional Office.
As previously announced, Deputy Director Marian Bruno will retire at the end of the year. The Chairman will announce Bruno’s replacement at a later date.
The Commission vote approving the appointment of Conner as Bureau Director was 5-0.
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