Federal Trade Commission Acting Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen announced today that she has appointed Abbott (Tad) Lipsky, a partner at the law firm of Latham & Watkins LLP, to be the Acting Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, effective March 6, 2017.
“The FTC plays an indispensable role in ensuring that the American economy remains competitive and continues to foster innovation and growth, to the benefit of all consumers, based on sound free-market principles. I am pleased that Tad will join the agency to help meet this critical mission,” said Acting Chairman Ohlhausen.
“I am honored to be included on a leadership team that will reinforce and focus the Commission’s great strengths in antitrust, while identifying and exploring opportunities to renovate and improve,” Lipsky stated.
Lipsky brings with him over 40 years of experience in antitrust law. Lipsky started his legal career as an attorney in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where he focused on deregulation and enhancing competition and antitrust enforcement in certain regulated sectors of the economy, including the aviation, transportation and energy industries. Following a break from government service, he returned to the Justice Department in 1981 upon his appointment as Deputy Assistant Attorney General to President Reagan’s first Assistant Attorney General, William F. Baxter.
At Latham & Watkins, Lipsky’s practice focused on a range of antitrust matters in many countries around the world. He is co-chair of the Antitrust Section of the American Bar Association’s International Task Force, and most recently served on the Antitrust Section’s Presidential Transition Task Force. Lipsky previously served as the chief global antitrust counsel to the Coca-Cola Company from 1992-2002. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Physics cum laude from Amherst College, an M.A. in Economics from Stanford University, and a J.D. from Stanford Law School.
Lipsky will replace Deborah Feinstein as the Director of the Bureau of Competition. Former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez appointed Feinstein as Bureau Director on June 17, 2013. Under Feinstein’s leadership, the Commission successfully challenged mergers that would have harmed the competitive process and consumers, including overseeing and directing the Commission’s wins on cases in the Third, Seventh and Ninth Circuit Courts of Appeals, as well as the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The Bureau also challenged anticompetitive conduct and achieved important settlements in a number of those cases.
“I am grateful for Debbie’s exceptional service to this agency and consumers,” said Acting Chairman Ohlhausen.
As part of these staff changes, Acting Chairman Ohlhausen has appointed Alan Devlin as Acting Deputy Director of the Competition Bureau. Devlin previously served as an Attorney Advisor to Acting Chairman Ohlhausen. Devlin, who joined the FTC in 2015 from the law firm of Latham & Watkins, teaches antitrust as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Center. His publications include two books—Antitrust and Patent Law (Oxford 2016) and Fundamental Principles of Law and Economics (Routledge 2014)—and over 30 law-review articles. He holds degrees from University College Dublin, the University of Chicago and Stanford Law School.
Chairman Ohlhausen has also appointed Svetlana S. Gans, a former Attorney Advisor and litigation attorney within both the Bureaus of Consumer Protection and Competition, as her Chief of Staff. Gans joined the FTC in 2010 from private practice, where she focused on antitrust and consumer protection matters, with previous experience at the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. Gans has served in the ABA Antitrust Section leadership for over a decade, currently serving as Co-Chair of the Consumer Protection Committee.
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