Top enforcement officials from U.S., Europe and ≠Canada to speak at ABA meeting

Leading competition enforcement officials from around the world, including the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Trade Commission, European Commission and Canada’s Competition Bureau, will be headliners at the 64th Annual Spring Meeting of the American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, April 6-8 in Washington, D.C.

The featured presentation of the three-day conference will be Friday’s Enforcers’ Roundtable from 10 a.m. to noon, where the world’s leading competition authorities will come together to talk about their enforcement priorities and the transactions, investigations and cases that are making headlines. Speakers are Assistant Attorney General William J. Baer, U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C.; Chairman Victor J. Domen Jr., Multistate Antitrust Task Force, National Association of Attorneys General, Nashville, Tenn.; Commissioner John Pecman, Competition Bureau Canada, Gatineau, Quebec; Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, Federal Trade Commission, Washington, D.C.; and Commissioner of Competition Margrethe Vestager, European Commission, Brussels, Belgium.

Sessions will feature 10 federal judges from across the country, including two panels that will focus on views from the bench on nonmerger civil and criminal trials and merger trials. The judges will discuss observations and lessons from some of the most important, challenging and vigorously contested cases over which they have presided.

The Section of Antitrust Law’s Spring Meeting is the world’s largest gathering of competition and consumer protection professionals and will include government enforcers and practitioners from 56 countries outside the United States. This year’s conference will bring together more than 3,000 enforcement officials, private attorneys, in-house corporate counsel, academics, judges, economists and business people to share knowledge about all aspects of competition and consumer protection law.

Program highlights include:

“Agency Update with the Deputy Assistant Attorneys General” — A panel of Justice Department deputy assistant attorneys general will discuss the latest in civil enforcement, cartel cases and policy initiatives. Representing the DOJ’s Antitrust Division in Washington, D.C., will be speakers David Gelfand, Litigation; Renata Hesse, Criminal & Civil Operations; Sonia Pfaffenroth, Civil Enforcement; Nancy Rose, Economic Analysis; and Brent C. Snyder, Criminal Enforcement.

“Monetary Remedies in FTC Consumer Protection Actions” — The FTC’s authority to obtain monetary remedies in consumer protection matters has been questioned in recent litigation. Panelists, including Robin L. Moore, staff attorney, Division of Enforcement, Bureau of Consumer Protection, FTC, will tackle such questions as: has the FTC overreached, does it possess the breadth of authority it claims, and should it consider providing greater clarity and guidance regarding its approach to monetary relief?

“Antitrust/IP Guidelines World­wide: More Guidance Needed?” — Intellectual property-antitrust issues are increasingly important in China, the European Union, the U.S. and worldwide. Are current national IP-antitrust guidelines adequate, or is more guidance needed? Is international coordination on standards and other matters adequate? Hear the perspectives of senior government officials and top practitioners including Nicholas Banasevic, head of Unit DG Competition, European Commission, Brussels; and Suzanne Munck, chief counsel for Intellectual Property, FTC, Washington, D.C.

“Briefing with the State Enforcers” — Panelists, representing antitrust and consumer protection bureaus from across the country, will discuss recent enforcement activities and the ongoing missions of state enforcement agencies. Moderator Paul Singer, deputy chief, Consumer Protection Division, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, Texas, will be joined on the panel by speakers Victoria Butler, Central Florida bureau chief, CPD, Office of the Attorney General, Tampa; Beth A. Finnerty, assistant section chief, Antitrust Section, Office of the Attorney General, Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan A. Mark, senior assistant attorney general, Seattle; and Christina M. Moylan, assistant attorney general, Augusta, Maine.

“Risky Business: The Boom in Advertising Enforcement” — One of the busiest years on record for consumer protection enforcement and litigation was marked by major FTC litigation, the emergence of the Federal Communications Commission as a consumer protection agency, major actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and states, a steady drumbeat of class actions and a sudden surge in Lanham Act litigation. What’s behind this swirling maelstrom? Are companies really lying to consumers more than ever? Speakers include Lesley Fair, attorney, FTC, Washington, D.C.; Andrea C. Levine, director, National Advertising Division, New York; and Karl A. Racine, attorney general, District of Columbia, Washington, D.C.

“What Happens When Collusion and Corruption Meet?” — Collusion and corruption often go hand in hand, but prosecutions often are handled separately. Panelists will explore the reach of antitrust and anticorruption laws. When and why do enforcers collaborate in fighting collusion and corruption, and how does it impact strategies for investigating, defending and settling cases? Speakers include Denise E. Biehn, antitrust program manager, International Corruption Unit, FBI, Washington, D.C.; Juliette Enser, director, Cartel Enforcement, Competition and Markets Authority, London; Eduardo Frade Rodrigues, general superintendent, Conselho Administrativo de Defesa Economica, Brazil; and Mary Strimel, chief, Washington Criminal II Section, DOJ, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C.

“Agency Update with the FTC Bureau Directors” — Hear directly from the FTC directors of the Bureau of Competition (Deborah L. Feinstein), Bureau of Consumer Protection (Jessica L. Rich) and Bureau of Economics (Ginger Jin) about the latest in antitrust and consumer protection enforcement and policy initiatives.

“Monopolization Across Borders” — Competition policies around the world target behavior designed to achieve or maintain dominant power. However, the definition of a dominant firm and the types of conduct that violate antitrust laws differ widely. Panelists — including Lynda K. Marshall, assistant chief, Foreign Commerce, DOJ, Antitrust Division, Washington, D.C.; and Mathias Traub, head of Antitrust Law, Robert Bosch GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany — will discuss divergent liability standards for single-firm conduct across jurisdictions, focusing on market definition, exclusionary conduct, innovation and intent.

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