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FTC’s Bureau of Competition Director To Leave Agency

After serving in the position for over two years, FTC Bureau of Competition Director Bruce Hoffman will be leaving the agency in November. FTC Chairman Joe Simons announced his intention to appoint Ian R. Conner, currently deputy director of the Bureau of Competition, to succeed Hoffman, according to an announcement from the FTC.

Simons said in the announcement, “Bruce has done an outstanding job leading the FTC‘s vigorous antitrust enforcement efforts for the last two years. His keen insight and tireless work have benefited American consumers by strengthening and advancing the Commission’s competition agenda.”

Hoffman also spearheaded the formation of the Bureau of Competition’s Technology Task Force. Now known as the Technology Enforcement Division, it was created in February of 2019 to monitor competition in U.S. technology markets, look into potential anticompetitive conduct in those markets and take enforcement actions when necessary.

During Hoffman’s time over the last two years as director of the Bureau of Competition, the FTC challenged 42 proposed mergers with the inclusion of 20 transactions that were restructured or abandoned – “either as a result of an FTC investigation or after the agency initiated litigation,” according to the announcement.

The Bureau also successfully litigated nine trials under the leadership of Hoffman. According to the agency, “These include winning a nearly half-billion-dollar judgement against Abbvie, winning its monopolization case against Qualcomm, settling the ground-breaking Actavis reverse payment litigation and extending its winning streak in hospital merger challenges at the appellate level with a win before the Eighth Circuit in the challenge to Sanford’s acquisition of the Mid Dakota Clinic.”

Before arriving at the FTC in July of 2017, Hoffman was the global co-head of Shearman & Sterling’s Antitrust Group. He also previously led the global competition practice at Hunton & Williams, representing clients in the supermarket, music and funeral industries, among others.

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