A partner and co-chair of the Antitrust Group, Joseph J. Simons was the chief antitrust enforcer at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), serving as Director of the Bureau of Competition from June 2001 until August 2003. Under his leadership, the Commission pursued a strong bipartisan enforcement agenda under which all but one of the more than 70 antitrust enforcement actions taken by the agency were by unanimous vote. During his tenure, the FTC prevailed in all of the 46 merger enforcement actions taken by the Commission. Mr. Simons was responsible for overseeing the re-invigoration of the FTC’s non-merger enforcement program, initiating well over 100 investigations in two years and producing more non-merger enforcement actions in one year than in any year in the last two decades. He also initiated a new emphasis at the FTC on administrative litigation, substantially increasing the number of trials before the agency, including merger, monopolization, and horizontal restraint cases. Mr. Simons’ history with the FTC’s Bureau of Competition started in the late 1980s when he served as the Associate Director for Mergers and the Assistant Director for Evaluation, respectively. In the former position, Mr. Simons was responsible for supervising numerous merger investigations, and as head of the Evaluation Office, he was responsible for analysis of all of the Competition Bureau’s non-merger matters. While in private practice, Mr. Simons was nominated by the Department of Justice, and approved by the Federal Communications Commission and Federal District Court, as trustee of four wireless telephone businesses relating to the GTE/Bell Atlantic/Vodafone transaction. In that capacity, Mr. Simons became the holder of the FCC licenses to these properties, making him the 10th largest wireless carrier in the United States, and he was responsible for managing and divesting these businesses valued at over $2 billion. He performed a similar function for the Cingular/AT&T Wireless transaction.
Mr. Simons has extensive experience representing clients before the FTC, the Department of Justice, the Department of Defense, and the Congress in a wide range of antitrust and regulatory matters, from the largest mergers and acquisitions to price fixing and novel predation and vertical restraints cases. Mr. Simons has represented clients in numerous industries ranging from airlines and computer reservations systems to telecommunications, defense contracting, consumer electronics, music, financial services, credit cards, transportation, agriculture, health care, soft drink concentrate, beer, aluminum can sheet and software.
Along with a former chief economist of the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, Mr. Simons developed "Critical Loss Analysis," a technique for market definition that has been adopted and used widely by both the Antitrust Division, the FTC, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. It was recently incorporated into the DOJ/FTC Merger Guidelines. Critical Loss Analysis also plays a fundamental role in evaluating the competitive effects of transactions as well. Mr. Simons was also the first practicing attorney to evaluate monopolization and vertical restraints under the theory of "Raising Rivals Costs" and contributed to the development of the theory, which now plays a significant role in the analysis of such cases at both federal antitrust enforcement agencies. Mr. Simons has published a wide range of articles on antitrust-related topics, including two papers appearing in refereed economics journals, one of which was selected for The Journal of Reprints for Antitrust Law and Economics. Most recently, he co-authored an article published in Oxford’s Journal of Competition Law & Economics titled “The 2010 Merger Guidelines, Critical Loss, and Linear Demand.” Mr. Simons was selected in 1991 to Crain’s New York Business "40 Under 40," which recognizes 40 rising stars in the New York business community. Mr. Simons is recognized as a leading antitrust lawyer in the United States by Legal 500, was named one of America’s leading antitrust lawyers in Chambers USA (2005-2010), and was acknowledged by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (2011-2012).