INTERVIEW : FTC - INTERNATIONAL ANTITRUST - ANTITRUST AUTHORITIES - RUSSIA - DOJ - BUDGET INCREASE - GLOBAL ECONOMIC DOWNTURN - HEALTH CARE BILL - HIGH TECH ANTITRUST- FAST TRACK PROCEDURE - UNILATERAL CONDUCT - INTEL CASE - SECTIONS 5 AND 2 OF THE SHERMAN ACT- JOINT WORKSHOPS - MERGER REVIEW

Jon LEIBOWITZ, FTC: Priorities and challenges for the US FTC

- What are your priorities for the FTC in the international antitrust scene? On the bilateral side, the US antitrust authorities recently signed an agreement with Russia. What do you concretely expect from this agreement? What kind of multilateral activities, if any, differentiate the US FTC from the US DOJ?

- You were appointed Chairman of the FTC by President Obama on March 2, 2009ff. Since 2004 you served as Commissioner under the Bush administration. What major changes in antitrust enforcement have you seen between the two administrations so far?

- The end of the year 2009 brought good news for the functioning of the FTC. First, Julie Brill and Edith Ramirez were nominated by President Obama to be new members of the Commission, and important senior staff positions were filled. Second, the agency is said to have received a $33 million increase in its budget for 2010. Have these actions been approved by the Senate yet? How do you expect the budget increase to be allocated?

- Has the global economic downturn shifted your priorities as the head of the FTC for the years ahead, and, if so, how?

- The health care industry is a sector in which the FTC has particular expertise. Do you think the recent U.S. health care bill will help to tackle anticompetitive behavior in that field? What progress has been made with regard to pay-for-delay pharmaceutical issues?

- Specialists in the media sector have called for high-tech antitrust cases to be fast-tracked because of the speed of the high-tech product cycle. Is the FTC considering introducing such a fast track procedure?

- In recent cases involving potentially anticompetitive unilateral conduct, such as the Intel case, the FTC has applied Section 5 rather than Section 2 of the Sherman Act. Could you describe the FTC’s authority and approach in applying Section 5? What is the rationale for applying Section 5 rather than Section 2, and what limits are applicable in such cases?

- Given this focus on Section 5, where does that leave the state of Section 2 enforcement today? Are the FTC and the DOJ similarly committed to reinvigorate enforcement of Section 2 in the same way?

- In September 2009, the FTC and the DOJ jointly launched a series of workshops designed to begin a review of the U.S. Horizontal Merger Guidelines. What are the main amendments to be expected? Why is the inquiry focusing only on horizontal mergers? Do you expect to see any clarification about how economic sectors will be allocated between the two U.S. competition authorities for merger review?

Interview conducted by Stéphanie Yon-Courtin, French External Trade in Normandy.

2009 Chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission 2004 Commissioner at the US FTC 2000-2004 Vice-President for Congressional Affairs for the Motion Picture Association of America 1997-2000 Democratic Chief Counsel and Staff Director for the US Senate Antitrust Subcommittee 1989-2000 Chief Counsel to Senator Herb Kohl 1984-1986 Attorney in private practice in Washington 1984 New York University School of Law INTERVIEW You were appointed Chairman of the FTC by President Obama on March 2, 2009ff. Since 2004 you served as Commissioner under the Bush administration. What major changes in antitrust enforcement have you seen between the two administrations so far? There is always more continuity than change in a shift of administrations. A broad consensus view governs most antitrust

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  • Davis Polk & Wardwell (Washington)

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Jon Leibowitz, Jon LEIBOWITZ, FTC: Priorities and challenges for the US FTC, February 2010, Concurrences Review N° 1-2010, Art. N° 30200, www.concurrences.com

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