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DOJ’s acting antitrust division chief stepping down

Architect of the antitrust team that nixed the AT&T – T-Mobile deal will resign at the end of April

After only six months on the job, Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen announced her resignation from the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Antitrust Division yesterday. As of April 30, Pozen will step down from the role to which she was appointed by Attorney General Eric Holder on Aug. 4, 2011.

Pozen initially came to the department in February 2009 as chief of staff and counsel. In this role, she took the lead on a number of enforcement and competition matters, specifically in the health care, technology, energy and agriculture industries. She also served as a deputy to former Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney.

After her promotion last August, Pozen led the charge against the proposed merger of AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc., which AT&T eventually dropped in December 2011. She also brought the division’s first antitrust charges in the automotive parts industry. As a result of her leadership, Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. agreed to plead guilty and pay a $200 million fine for its role in a criminal price-fixing and bid-rigging conspiracy involving the sale of parts to automobile manufacturers.

“During her tenure as acting head of the division, Sharis has provided strong leadership and sound legal judgment on some of the most significant competition matters before the Department of Justice,” Holder said in a statement.

He added that during her tenure, Pozen has helped to revitalize the division.

“It has been an honor and privilege to serve in the Antitrust Division and in this administration for the past three years,” Pozen said in the statement. “I have the utmost respect for the dedicated men and women of the division who devote themselves to protecting American consumers from anticompetitive conduct. I want to express my deep gratitude to Attorney General Holder for his leadership and for giving me the opportunity to lead the Antitrust Division.”

No reason was given for her resignation in the statement.

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