The Antitrust Chief Who Killed The AT&T And T-Mobile Merger Is Leaving

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that Sharis Pozen, interim assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, is planning to leave by the end of April.

Dealbook quotes two sources as saying that Pozen informed Attorney General Eric Holder of her intent.

The departure would set up a potential bruising battle between the Obama Administration and Senate Republicans.

The Obama Administration shows little inclination to soften its recent tough antitrust stance going into an election year:

The leading candidate to replace Ms. Pozen is William J. Baer, head of the antitrust group at the law firm Arnold & Porter and a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s competition bureau, these people said. Antitrust experts say that Mr. Baer would continue the government’s reinvigorated enforcement of the antitrust laws, as evidenced by its vocal opposition to the recently scuttled merger between AT&T and T-Mobile…

An appointment of a new, permanent antitrust chief could lead to a battle between the White House and Congress. The Justice Department post requires a Senate confirmation vote, which normally slows to a trickle down during a presidential election year.

Neither the Justice Department nor Baer returned Dealbook’s requests for comment.