ABA Section of Antitrust Law | Chair's Message

A Message From The Chair

Jonathan Jacobson

It is a great honor to serve as Section Chair for the coming year, an honor owed to the great work all of you have done (and continue to do) to make the Section what it is: the leading source for everything competition and consumer protection in the world.

My principal goals as Chair are really two.  First, don't do any harm.  Under the leadership of my terrific predecessors, the Section is now recognized around the world as the preeminent source of knowledge for antitrust and consumer protection.  Enforcers throughout the globe regularly solicit our thinking.  In this past year alone, we have responded to 20 international authority requests for comments, not to mention our spectacular Transition Report for the new administration in Washington.  Every person of consequence in competition attends our Spring Meeting.  Attendance this year climbed to 3,200 people from 66 countries.

My second and very ambitious goal is to solidify and even extend our global thought leadership.  How can we do that?

One way is that we are expanding and continuing our task forces.  Our International Task Force, led by Randy Tritell and Tad Lipsky, is responsible for our international comments and there are no words sufficient to describe the incredible work they have done.  Our International Cartel Task Force, led by Scott Hammond and Jim Mutchnik similarly provides the world's best insight into cartel activity and enforcement.  We have another great Task Force, Procedural Transparency, co-chaired by Melanie Aitken and John Taladay.  They have been investigating the very difficult issues posed by the procedural differences in competition enforcement around the world, and the occasional due process issues that can result.  Their target is to issue a Report this Section year.

We've added two new substantive task forces.  One is called the Dominance Divergence Task Force.  It is led by Cynthia Lagdameo and Hill Wellford.  Their illustrious group will analyze the differences between U.S. law and the rest of the world on unilateral and vertical conduct competition issues.  Given the very different outcomes in major matters between the U.S. and abroad, this is an increasingly significant set of issues.  The other is called the Task Force on National Interest Concerns in Competition Law, co-chaired by Cal Goldman and Dick Steuer.  A little over a year ago, we completed the Section's Report on Foreign Investment Review, focusing on the non-competition national interest factors taken into account in merger review. This new Task Force will continue and expand that work with an all-star cast, looking broadly at "national interest" considerations, the independence of competition decisions from political considerations, and the impact of trade policies on competition and competition policy. 

A second way, of course, is to continue and even improve our world class programs.  You'll hear more about Spring (DC, 4/11-13) shortly, and it is important for the committees to be thinking now about their proposed slate of programs.  But please do not forget about our own committee or "brown bag" programs, which provide such a convenient way to keep abreast of current developments.

We also have a tremendous slate of additional programs coming up:

Another way, of course, and one near and dear to my own heart, is through our publications.  The Antitrust Law Journal, the Magazine, and the Source are preeminent in our field.  Antitrust Law Developments, now in its eighth edition, continues to be a leading treatise in the field, and our other three – Competition Laws Outside the U.S., Consumer Protection Law Developments, and State Antitrust Practice and Statutes – are all gaining fast.  The Annual Review of Antitrust Law Developments is always one of our best sellers and work is already in progress on the next edition.

And our handbooks continue to lead their fields in the quality and depth of their analysis.  We are expecting several new and important books this year:

  • Antitrust Class Actions Handbook 2d
  • Proof of Conspiracy 2d
  • Antitrust in Technology Industries
  • Energy Antitrust Handbook 3d
  • Handbook on Claim Substantiation
  • Healthcare Mergers and Acquisitions Handbook 2d
  • Resolving Criminal Antitrust Exposure: A Practitioner's Guide on Sentencing and Leniency
  • State Antitrust Enforcement 3d

The upshot is that the ways in which we contribute to knowledge, scholarship, and the improvement of antitrust and competition law are vast and effective.  And it is because of you, our Membership.  I am truly thrilled to be able to work with you as your Chair for the coming year.

Jon Jacobson
Chair, Section of Antitrust Law 2017-2018
American Bar Association