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US antitrust regulator names Henry Liu to head competition unit

Published 08/22/2023, 12:20 PM
Updated 08/22/2023, 04:06 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Trade Commission seal is seen at a news conference in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

(Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said on Tuesday that Henry Liu, a partner at law firm Covington Burling, would be the new director of the commission's Bureau of Competition.

Liu joins as the agency is toughening antitrust enforcement, including a lawsuit against Meta's Facebook (NASDAQ:META) and a complaint expected against Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN), but it has also faced painful losses in court.

"I'm excited to have Henry at the helm of the Bureau of Competition," Chair Lina Khan said in a statement. "His experience and expertise will equip the Commission to continue tackling unfair methods of competition and protecting the American public from unlawful business practices."

Liu has already begun work at the FTC, the agency said.

In addition to the Big Tech lawsuits, the FTC, which shares the job of determining if mergers are legal with the Justice Department, is looking at Kroger (NYSE:KR)'s plan to buy rival grocery giant Albertsons, a $24.6 billion deal announced in October.

At Covington & Burling, where he worked for 14 years, Liu rose to be a partner in litigation and antitrust practices, according to the statement.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Federal Trade Commission seal is seen at a news conference in Washington, U.S., July 24, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas/File Photo

At the firm, Liu's clients included companies in pharmaceuticals, financial services and tech, and he specialized in defending clients in multi-state proceedings, according to the website "Inside Class Actions."

Liu went to Yale Law School, graduating in 2007, according to his LinkedIn page. Liu was a law clerk for Judge R. Guy Cole Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1995.

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