Today I established the National Antitrust Hall of Fame today to shine a spotlight on the largely unknown figures whose actions negatively affect our basic liberties and everyday commerce. The Hall is a virtual museum based at www.antitrusthall.com and will feature annual “inductions” of notable antitrust figures as well as permanent exhibits highlighting abuses of power committed by antitrust regulators.
The Hall’s inaugural “Class of 2011″ includes veteran antitrust litigator David Boies II, Justice Department prosecutor Scott D. Hammond, former Federal Trade Commission and current George Mason University professor Timothy J. Muris, and current FTC commissioner J. Thomas Rosch. The class also includes one “veteran” candidate, Joseph E. Davies, the first chairman of the FTC and a onetime U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union. I plan to name between three and five active members of the “antitrust establishment” to the Hall of Fame annually along with at least one historical figure.
Below are the texts of Class of 2011 “induction plaques,” which are available at www.antitrusthall.com.
David Boies II — Although he lost the most publicized case of his career — a challenge to the recount of Florida ballots following the 2000 presidential election — Boies remained a giant in the antitrust world. He represented the D.O.J. in its 1996–2001 litigation against Microsoft Corporation and appropriated more than $4 billion from MasterCard and Visa shareholders on behalf of rival American Express. Boies founded his namesake firm after representing infamous New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner in an antitrust suit against his fellow baseball owners — which included a client of Boies’ previous firm.
Joseph E. Davies — The father of the F.T.C. and modern regulation, Davies served as the Commission’s first chairman and later emerged as a leading propagandist for Soviet communism. After serving as the second U.S. ambassador to the U.S.S.R., Davies’ memoirs, “Mission to Moscow,” was made into a World War II-era film that glosse over the abuses of Stalin’s regime. Davies is the only former F.T.C. member to receive the Order of Lenin.
Scott D. Hammond — As the Justice Department’s top criminal antitrust enforcer, Hammond pushed the boundaries of ethical and legal conduct. In a six-year crusade against a European shipping company, Hammond violated a signed non-prosecution agreement, forcing taxpayers to subsidize litigation that upheld the agreement. In another case, Hammond used an extradition treaty with the United Kingdom — intended to combat terrorism — to force a retired British executive to stand trial in the U.S. on obstruction of justice related to “price fixing” charges. Hammond further authorized dozens of secret pardons and fought to conceal the details from American taxpayers.
Timothy Joseph Muris — A classic switch-hitter who moved between the government and private sector with ease, Muris’ three stints at the Federal Trade Commission culminated in the singular achievement of a national registry to protect consumers from the nuisance of unwanted telemarketing calls. As chairman he directed the widespread prosecution of physicians who tried to negotiate better contracts with insurance companies (some of whom were Muris consulting clients), and he initiated the F.T.C.’s seven-year pursuit of the California technology company Rambus, which ended in the most expensive courtroom defeat in the agency’s history.
John Thomas Rosch — With over 40 years of litigation experience, Rosch distinguished himself as a member of the F.T.C. by leading the charge to strip companies of their few remaining due process rights before the Commission. In a merger case involving a small nonprofit hospital, Rosch manipulated F.T.C. rules to appoint himself as the administrative law judge, even though he also ran the underlying investigation. In another case involving a national supermarket chain, Rosch again named himself the judge to prevent independent review of a theory of antitrust liability that lacked popular, legal, and academic support.