New leadership in Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission

In May 2009, appointments in the U.S. antitrust agencies were announced (Department of Justice 12; Federal Trade Commission 12). The appointees include several leading experts in competition issues related to intellectual property rights, technology and innovation.

Hoping to draw on this expertise, the DOJ’s interest in regaining its leadership as the enforcer in technology industries and its desire to explore and understand the unique competition issues raised by high-tech and Internet-based markets was announced in the first speech (11 May 2009) by the new Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, Christine Varney.The need to find the right balance to ensure that competition is not thwarted by misuse or illegal extension of intellectual property rights was also specifically recognized by her. Varney also addressed some technology related competition issues raised in the Senate nomination hearing in March 2009. [Juha Vesala]