In the past 12 months, leadership in the two federal agencies tasked with enforcing our nation’s antitrust laws has drastically changed. At the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice, the top antitrust enforcer — the assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division — has turned over several times with three different people serving in that role in an "acting" capacity and finally a fourth, William Baer, taking the role on a nonacting basis in late December 2012. Likewise, at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), where five commissioners share top enforcement responsibility, two new commissioners have been sworn in since April 2012, a third seat sits empty, and a new chair has been appointed. With this turnover, many are wondering whether the agencies’ willingness to litigate during President Obama’s first term will continue. The simple answer is yes — with the more open question being whether there will be any change at the FTC.
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