White House confident in acting antitrust chief

The White House is confident in the abilities of the acting chief of the Justice Departments Antitrust Division as the agency heads to court in an attempt to block AT&Ts takeover of T-Mobile in one of the biggest antitrust cases in years, a senior White House official told The Hill on Friday.

Sharis Pozen took over the division in August after former Assistant Attorney General Christine Varney resigned to enter private practice. The Justice Department filed suit Wednesday to block the AT&T/T-Mobile merger.

President Obama has not nominated a permanent replacement for Varney, and the White House official said the administration is continuing to assess candidates.

Pozen joined the Antitrust Division in February 2009 as chief of staff and counsel. She was the lead antitrust lawyer in the CPTN/Novell case, which involved a group of tech firms including Microsoft and Apple being forced to license old Novell patents to the open-source community.

She has also worked for the Federal Trade Commission and in private practice.