Paul Weiss's Joseph Simons under consideration for FTC chair
26 May 2017. By Leah Nylen and Joshua Sisco.
Joseph Simons, a partner at Paul Weiss, is under consideration by the White House for chairman of the US Federal Trade Commission, MLex has learned.
Simons served as the director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition from 2001 to 2003 during the George W. Bush administration. During the 1980s, he also served as Associate Director for Mergers and the Assistant Director for Evaluation at the FTC.
In the late 1980s, Simons helped create the idea of "critical loss analysis," a formula to help determine market definition that is now widely used in antitrust analysis and incorporated into the FTC and US Department of Justice's Horizontal Merger Guidelines.
In private practice, Simons has focused on mergers and antitrust litigation. He represented Rockstar — a consortium including Microsoft, Ericsson, RIM and Sony — that acquired Nortel's patent portfolio for $4.5 billion. He also represented MasterCard in antitrust litigation over its interchange fees.
Simons's primary rival for the chairmanship is Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican FTC commissioner since 2012. Ohlhausen is currently serving as acting chairman until President Donald Trump nominates his pick.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes also has been under consideration for the chairmanship, but it is understood that he is no longer considered the preferred candidate.