Originally published: July 6, 2011
Last updated: July 7, 2011 - 8:03am
Christine Varney, Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division, announced her resignation from the Department of Justice, effective as of Aug. 5, 2011. The Wall Street journal reported that she was heading to law firm Cravat, Swayne & Moore.
“Christine Varney led the Antitrust Division with great distinction through a period when the department confronted a number of proposed mergers and other matters that could have led to higher prices, lower quality products and less innovation in a recovering economy. There is no doubt that her tireless work helped protect consumers and businesses from anticompetitive conduct and preserved competition in America’s economy,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “I will miss her leadership.”
“I am grateful for my two and a half years of service as Assistant Attorney General of the Antitrust Division,” Assistant Attorney General Varney said. “From the start of my time here, it has been a tremendous privilege to work with the department’s leadership and the dedicated professionals in the Antitrust Division.”
Tech policy watchers were quick to question the impact of the move on the Justice Department's pending review of AT&T's proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA, which has raised concerns about competition in the wireless market.
Public Knowledge's Gigi Sohn said that even though Varney is leaving "we expect the Division’s staff to continue the independent, rigorous analysis they are undertaking in reviewing AT&T’s takeover of T-Mobile. We hope and expect that review will determine the deal is a clear violation of antitrust law that will harm consumers and damage a vital sector of the economy."
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