Joseph Wayland was named today the acting leader of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, pending the successful confirmation of President Barack Obama's nominee to head the section.
Obama in February nominated Arnold & Porter partner William Baer as the assistant attorney general for antitrust. Baer’s nomination is awaiting a vote in the U.S. Senate.
Wayland is set to take over after Acting Assistant Attorney General Sharis Pozen leaves the department April 30. Pozen has run the division since August. Wayland first joined the Holder DOJ in September 2010 as deputy assistant attorney general under Christine Varney. Wayland was formerly a partner at Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett.
“Joe’s leadership and litigation expertise has made him a significant asset to the Antitrust Division and to the department,” Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. said in a prepared statement. “I know that he will maintain strong antitrust enforcement during this time of transition.”
Wayland led the DOJ antitrust team that blocked H&R Block from acquiring TaxAct. DOJ said the enforcement action in Washington’s federal trial court was the antitrust division’s first successful merger challenge in nearly a decade.
In the litigation over AT&T Inc.’s effort to buy T-Mobile USA, Wayland was a leader on the government’s trial team. DOJ moved to stop the proposed $39 billion transaction. AT&T announced last December the telecommunications company was dropping the deal, which the government alleged would have hurt consumers.