WASHINGTON – Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen announced her resignation from the Department of Justice today, effective as of April 30, 2012.
“Sharis has helped revitalize the Antitrust Division, and I commend her dedication to protecting consumers from anticompetitive mergers, illegal price fixing cartels and other anticompetitive conduct,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “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.”
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve in the Antitrust Division and in this administration for the past three years. 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.”
Pozen came to the department on Feb. 16, 2009, where she served as chief of staff and counsel. She served as a key deputy to Assistant Attorney General Christine A. Varney, and played a leading role on several enforcement and competition matters, including in the healthcare, technology, energy and agriculture industries.
Attorney General Holder appointed Pozen as Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division on Aug. 4, 2011.
Under her leadership, the division challenged the proposed merger of AT&T Inc. and T-Mobile USA Inc. The department said that the deal would reduce competition in mobile wireless telecommunications services resulting in higher prices, poorer quality services, fewer choices and fewer innovative products for millions of American consumers. Ultimately, the parties abandoned the deal, resulting in a victory for consumers.
During Pozen’s tenure, the division brought its first antitrust charges in the automotive parts industry. On Sept. 29, 2011, Furukawa Electric Co. Ltd. agreed to plead guilty and to 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. This is an active and ongoing investigation. Also in the criminal enforcement area, the division charged 19 individuals and one corporation in connection with its real estate foreclosure auctions matter in northern and eastern California and in southern Alabama, as well as charged three individuals in connection with its tax lien auctions case in New Jersey.
Previously, Pozen was a partner in private practice in Washington, D.C., for 14 years and worked for five years at the Federal Trade Commission as an attorney advisor to two commissioners and as assistant to the Director of the Bureau of Competition.