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William Baer Nominated by White House for Justice Department Position
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William Baer, an attorney from the law firm of Arnold & Porter in Washington, has been nominated by the White House to become the head of the antitrust division in the Justice Department.

Baer, if he is confirmed by the Senate, will replace Sharis A. Pozen. Pozen is serving as the acting assistant attorney general for antitrust. Pozen will step down from the position once the month of April ends. Pozen was named to the position as interim chief when Christine Varney stepped away from the position to become an attorney partner at the law firm of Cravath, Swaine & Moore.


Baer did not comment on the news, according to a spokesperson from the law firm of Arnold & Porter.

The Justice Department recently opposed a $39 billion acquisition proposal submitted by AT&T of T-Mobile USA. Baer’s law firm, Arnold & Porter, was the representing law firm for AT&T when it came to antitrust matters that dealt with the proposed merger with T-Mobile USA.

Baer used to be the director of the competition bureau within the Federal Trade Commission. He is also a member of the antitrust-law establishment within Washington. When Baer worked at Arnold & Porter he worked on multiple antitrust cases. One of those cases dealt with General Electric, which was charged with fixing prices in the decade of the 90s. Baer was on the defense team, which was successful.

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The White House announced the nomination of Baer back on Friday night but no one knows for sure if his nomination will be approved in 2012. Anyone nominated by a president in an election year typically has to wait until the next year for the nomination to be approved or denied because of all the activity taking place. Already this year, the Senate has stalled on deciding other nominations within the judicial system and the Justice Department.


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