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Baer Favored by Obama to Lead Justice’s Antitrust Division

William Baer of Arnold & Porter LLP is President Barack Obama’s intended nominee to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, according to a statement from the White House.

Baer, 61, whose firm championed AT&T Inc.’s failed bid to acquire T-Mobile USA Inc., leads the antitrust group at Arnold & Porter in Washington. Sharis Pozen, acting chief of the division, said Jan. 23 she will leave her position on April 30.

Baer, named one of the “Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers” by the National Law Journal in 2010, is a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s competition bureau and has represented corporate clients including General Electric Co., Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. in private practice.

Arnold & Porter was lead outside counsel advising AT&T in its proposed $39 billion buyout of Deutsche Telekom AG’s T-Mobile USA unit. Baer’s colleagues Richard Rosen and Donna Patterson handled the transaction, which the Justice Department sued to block Aug. 31. AT&T abandoned the deal Dec. 19 after meeting opposition from regulators.

Baer declined to comment on any nomination.

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