Another Federal Regulator Joins the Anti-Antitrust World
The Justice Department's antitrust chief has a new job
The head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, Christine Varney, is leaving her post next month to work for a law firm that helps huge corporations secure mega mergers and acquisitions. We'll see if she puts her hard-earned experience to good use: Varney's division previously rubber-stamped the Comcast-NBC acquisition and the Ticketmaster-Live Nation merger. The firm she will be joining in September is Cravath, Swaine & Moore, "one of the biggest legal advisers on mergers and transactions," reports The New York Times. It "helped advise Johnson & Johnson in its $21.3 billion acquisition of Synthes and it helped advise private-equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners in their $3 billion buyout of J. Crew The law firm ranks No. 12 in the Thomson Reuters league table, advising on 24 deals worldwide worth $83 billion."
The revolving door hire follows another controversial move by a federal regulator in May, when Meredith Attwell Baker, a commissioner at the Federal Communications Commission, resigned her post to join a lobbying team at Comcast. As colleague Adam Clark Estes wrote then, "Baker voted in favor of the merger and even expressed public disappointment that the FCC delayed the deal for as long as it did." Say, these government gigs looks great on a resumé!