The following post appears courtesy of the Antitrust Division. Vice President Joaquín Almunia of the European Commission speaks as Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen, former Assistant Attorney General John H. Shenefield and Federal Trade Commission Commissioner Edith Ramirez look on This afternoon, the Antitrust Division hosted the Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture with Vice President Joaquín Almunia of the European Commission (EC) as the featured speaker. Vice President Almunia’s speech focused on competition policy in the post-crisis era. Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis A. Pozen, Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Commissioner Edith Ramirez and former Assistant Attorney General John H. Shenefield also joined the lecture. Introducing Vice President Almunia, Acting Assistant Attorney General Pozen said:
“Under Vice President Almunia’s leadership there can be little question that the European Commission is vigorously enforcing its competition laws. Vice President Almunia has emphasized the importance of strong competition policy as a tool for economic growth.”
Vice President Almunia has served as the Commissioner for Competition of the European Commission since 2010. Previously, he served as Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs. The division and the commission have fostered a decades-long working relationship with respect to competition issues in order to enhance coordination and cooperation on antitrust law enforcement and policy. In October 2011, the division, the FTC and the European Commission celebrated the 20th anniversary of the U.S.-EC bilateral antitrust agreement and issued an updated set of best practices (PDF) that they use to coordinate their merger reviews. Acting Assistant Attorney General Pozen, FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz and Vice President and Competition Commissioner Almunia praised the success of the cooperation agreement and noted that international coordination and cooperation have steadily increased over 20 years. European Commission Vice President Joaquín Almunia speaks at the Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture The Lewis Bernstein Memorial Lecture was established in 1995 in honor of Lewis Bernstein’s career and memory as a devoted public servant. Following his service in World War II, Bernstein joined the Antitrust Division as a trial attorney. Five years later, he became chief of the Special Litigation Section, the position he held until his retirement in 1977. He took part in the division’s cases against Pfizer (Tetracycline), Jones and Laughlin Steel, Container Corporation of America, Schine Theaters, Penn-Olin Chemical, College of American Pathologists, National Malleable Steel Casings, Buffalo Press and IBM (1969), among others. Past speakers of the lecture include former Assistant Attorneys General Thomas E. Kauper, Joel Klein and Shenefield, former FTC Chairman Robert Pitofsky, former FTC Commissioner William E. Kovacic, former FTC General Counsel Stephen Calkins, former EC Commissioner for Competition Mario Monti, former U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois Thomas P. Sullivan, Judge Sarah S. Vance of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and New York University School of Law Professor Eleanor Fox.