Since April 17, 2016, Bill Baer has served as the third-highest ranking official at the Department of Justice. As the Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General, he supervises the work of five of DOJ's large litigating components -- the Antitrust, Civil, Civil Rights, Tax, and Environment and Natural Resources Divisions -- as well as DOJ's grant-making components.
Mr. Baer served as the Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division from January 2013 until April 2016, following his confirmation by the United States Senate. Under Mr. Baer’s leadership, the Antitrust Division’s action against Apple for price-fixing e-books enabled state attorneys general and private plaintiffs to secure $560 million in refunds to consumers. In 2015, the Division obtained a record $2.5 billion in fines by exposing a scheme by Citicorp, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland and others to rig the foreign currency exchange spot market. Throughout his tenure, the Division stood up against corporate behavior that would have damaged financial markets and hurt consumers in industries from beer and wine to airlines and broadband companies.
Prior to his appointment as Assistant Attorney General, he was a Partner and Head of the Antitrust Practice Group at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC, with extensive experience in both criminal and civil antitrust investigations, including merger and acquisition reviews by antitrust enforcement agencies in the United States and globally. At Arnold & Porter since January 2000, Mr. Baer was involved in matters involving high tech, communications, health care, and intellectual property, among others. He has been recognized frequently as a leading and influential antitrust lawyer. Mr. Baer was also a Partner at Arnold & Porter from 1983 until April 1995 and an Associate from 1980 until 1983. He specialized in complex civil and criminal investigations and litigation, principally in the antitrust and trade regulation areas.
From April 1995 until October 1999, Mr. Baer was the Director, Bureau of Competition at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As Director, he supervised the antitrust law enforcement activities of 220 staff in the Bureau of Competition and 170 staff in FTC’s regional offices and oversaw significant enforcement successes, including blocking mergers in office supply and drug wholesale markets. His work also included successfully challenging exclusionary practices in toy, information technology, and brand name and generic drug markets. Mr. Baer also worked at the FTC from 1975 until 1980 as Assistant General Counsel for Legislation & Congressional Relations (1978-1980); Assistant to Chairman Michael Pertschuk (1977-1978); Assistant to the Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection (1976-1977); and Trial Attorney, Bureau of Consumer Protection (1975-1976).
Mr. Baer is a member of the American Bar Association’s Antitrust Section. He has lectured in North America, Europe and Asia on various antitrust and consumer protection issues.
Mr. Baer received his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1975, and served as an editor of Stanford’s Law Review. He received his B.A. from Lawrence University in 1972 where he graduated Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.