D. Bruce Hoffman’s practice focuses on antitrust enforcement, including merger clearance and conduct investigations, and antitrust and other complex commercial litigation.

Bruce joined the firm as a partner after serving as Director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition from August 2017 until late December of 2019. As Director, he was the head of the FTC’s antitrust enforcement and was responsible for developing Bureau policy, supervising all of the Bureau’s investigations and litigation, and conducting high-level relations with other leading antitrust enforcers, including the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the Directorate-General for Competition of the European Commission and other international enforcers, and state Attorneys General, as well as communications with Congress. Bruce also spearheaded the creation of the Bureau of Competition’s Technology Task Force (now known as the Technology Enforcement Division) to monitor competition in U.S. technology markets, investigate potential anticompetitive conduct in those markets, and take enforcement actions when warranted.

Bruce’s role as Bureau Director was his second stint at the FTC. He previously served at the agency from 2001-2004, starting as Associate Director for Regional Litigation and then being elevated to Deputy Director of the Bureau of Competition. In these roles, Bruce oversaw the Bureau’s programs, activities, and investigations. He also led numerous high-profile cases involving mergers, price fixing, monopolization, conspiracies, and other issues in a broad range of industries, and he participated in amicus brief efforts before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Prior to joining the FTC in 2001, and then again from 2005 to 2017, Bruce developed and led successful antitrust practices as a partner at leading global law firms. Bruce had an extensive merger review practice, including transactions before the DOJ, FTC, EC, several U.S. states, and other enforcers. He also has wide-ranging experience in high-profile antitrust litigation and investigations, including representing clients in some of the largest antitrust class actions ever filed, as well as competitor lawsuits and conduct investigations. Bruce has handled every aspect of federal and state court litigation, including appellate arguments, jury and bench trials, and numerous court hearings and arguments, as well as arbitration proceedings.

Notable Experience

  • Supervised all FTC Antitrust Enforcement, August 2017-December 2019.

  • One of the world’s largest supermarket chains before the Federal Trade Commission in connection with strategic divestitures of grocery assets in the United States.

  • A leading provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services before the Federal Trade Commission in investigation into proposed acquisition of another provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services.

  • One of the world’s largest music companies before the Federal Trade Commission in its $1.9 billion acquisition of the recorded music business of EMI Music. After a second request and an extensive investigation, the FTC voted 5-0 to close its investigation without requiring divestitures or other remedies.

  • Delta Air Lines in the antitrust review by the U.S. Department of Justice of a proposed LaGuardia and Reagan-National airport slot exchange with US Airways.

  • Delta Air Lines before the U.S. Department of Justice in its successful acquisition of Northwest Airlines. Following a second request and extensive investigation, the DOJ closed its investigation without requiring any divestitures or other remedies.

  • A major recording company in its acquisition of the Spanish-language music division of a major media company. The acquisition was cleared by the FTC.

  • A leading producer of construction aggregates in its $4.6 billion acquisition of another leader in this industry. The merger was cleared with a divestiture after a second request from the DOJ.

  • A major beverage manufacturer against allegations of anticompetitive collusion with retailers.

  • A major music company in defending against antitrust investigations by state Attorneys General of licensing terms.

  • A leading paper products company in antitrust class actions alleging conspiracies.

  • One of the U.S.’s largest health insurance companies in antitrust class actions alleging illegal agreements.

  • A leading insurance company in defense of cutting-edge antitrust cases by the DOJ, a state Attorney General, and numerous private plaintiffs challenging MFN clauses.

  • Leading beverage companies and restaurants in obtaining dismissal on the pleadings of antitrust price-fixing case. Dismissal was affirmed on appeal.

  • A major cement and concrete company in a series of class action lawsuits alleging price fixing in the markets for cement and concrete in Florida. The matter settled on favorable terms after class certification was defeated.

  • A global high-tech company in a patent and antitrust case. The matter was settled after full trial on the merits. SanDisk Corp. v. Phison Electronics Corp., et al (W.D. Wisc.).

  • Two defendants in an appeal to the D.C. Circuit of a jury verdict on an antitrust action brought by health insurers alleging input foreclosure in markets for anti-anxiety drugs. In re Lorazepam & Clorazepate Antitrust Litigation (D.C. Cir.).

  • Drugtest, Inc. (DISA) in a multidefendant, nationwide class action alleging a wide range of antitrust violations under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act. Worked with counsel for numerous energy company defendants to develop theories that led to the dismissal of the case on the pleadings. Compliance Marketing, et al. v. Drugtest, Inc., et al. (D. Colo.).

  • A major U.S. company in its defense of a European Commission Statement of Objections alleging violations of European Union competition laws.

  • One of the primary defendants in two sets of national antitrust class action cases alleging price fixing in the market for bananas: Brookshire Brothers, Ltd., et al. v. Chiquita Brands International, et al.; Solo v. Chiquita Brands International, et al. (S.D. Fla.).

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Selected Activities

Board of Trustees, University of Florida Levin College of Law

Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America

Senior Editor, American Bar Association Antitrust Law Journal

Publications

U.S. Agencies Publish Final Revised Vertical Merger Guidelines,” July 2020

Navigating COVID-19: Supply Chain Considerations,” July 15, 2020

Avoiding or Defeating Potential Antitrust and Other Civil Suits Relating to Anti-Price Gouging Laws,” June 12, 2020

Competitor Collaboration in Times of Crisis,” April 13, 2020

COVID-19: Antitrust Guidance for Collaboration Between Financial Institutions,” March 31, 2020

‘Exploitative’ Abuse of Dominance and ‘Price Gouging’ in Times of Crisis,” March 31, 2020; republished by Concurrences, April 30, 2020

Use of Authorities Under the Defense Production Act in Response to COVID-19” March 30, 2020

Competition in Digital Technology Markets: Examining Acquisitions of Nascent or Potential Competitors by Digital Platforms,” September 24, 2019

Antitrust and the Digital Economy Conference Preview,” GCR Pod podcast, May 1, 2019

Ohio v. American Express and the Continued Evolution of Economic Reasoning in Supreme Court Jurisprudence,” ABA Antitrust Magazine, November 30, 2018

Competition and Consumer Protection Implications of Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics – Remarks at FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century,” November 14, 2018

How a Recent Supreme Court Ruling on Antitrust Laws Could Impact Providers: A Law Review Q&A,” co-author, The Daily Briefing, The Advisory Board Company, May 8, 2015

“Company Reputation Won’t Stop FTC Ad Investigations,” co-author, Law360, October 21, 2014

“Boarding for an Unknown Destination: The Remedy in the American/US Airways Merger,” The Threshold, American Bar Association Section of Antitrust Law, Vol. XIV, No. 2, Spring 2014

“Rhetoric vs. Reality: An Assessment of Trends in Civil Non- Merger Antitrust Enforcement Comparing the Bush and Obama Administrations,” The Journal of the Antitrust and Unfair Competition Law Section of the State Bar of California, Vol. 22, No. 2, Fall 2013

“Known Unknowns: Uncertainty and its Implications for Antitrust Policy and Enforcement in the Standard-Setting Context,”, co-author with Joe Simons, The Antitrust Bulletin, Vol. 57, No. 1, Spring 2012

Co-editor, Market Power Handbook: Competition Law and Economic Foundations, co-editor, ABA Section of Antitrust Law, 2012

USA chapter of The International Comparative Legal Guide to Merger Control, 2012, 2011, and 2010

“US Antitrust,” The Mergers & Acquisitions Review, Fifth Edition, 2011

“Including Exclusion in the 2010 Horizontal Merger Guidelines,” co-author, The Antitrust Source, October 2010

“Afterword: Putting Monopoly Law into Practice,” 76 Antitrust Law Journal, 2010

“How Much Discretion is Enough?,” The Deal, May 27, 2010

“The Noerr-Pennington Doctrine,” American Bar Association, Section of Antitrust Law, Monograph 25, August 26, 2009

“Cheap Exclusion,” 72 Antitrust Law Journal 975 (with Susan A. Creighton, Thomas G. Krattenmaker, and Ernest A. Nagata), 2005

“To Certify or Not: A Modest Proposal for Evaluating the ‘Superiority’ of a Class Action in the Presence of Government Enforcement,” 18 Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics 1383, 2005

“Horizontal Mergers,” Telecom Antitrust Handbook, ch. 2, Section of Antitrust Law, American Bar Association, May 2005

“Remedial Self-Help in Merger Litigation After Arch Coal,” 19 Antitrust 32, Spring 2005

“Lessons from In Re North Texas Specialty Physicians,” Andrews Antitrust Litigation Reporter, Vol. 12, Issue 11, February 2005

“A Brief Summary of Recent FTC Activities Involving the State Action Doctrine and Noerr Immunity,” E & I Update, Exemptions & Immunities Committee of the ABA Section of Antitrust Law (with Thomas J. Klotz), Fall 2004

“The Digital Age at the FTC: Current Issues in Electronic Document Production and Review,” The Antitrust Source, March 2004

“Administrative Litigation at the FTC: Past, Present and Future,” 71 Antitrust Law Journal 319 (with M. Sean Royall), 2003

Events

Panelist, California Lawyers Association’s 30th Annual Golden State Institute, October 27, 2020

Panelist, The Federalist Society’s Interoperability and Data Sharing: An Antitrust Remedy in Search of a Market Problem?, October 8, 2020

Panelist, Fordham Law School 47th Annual Conference on International Antitrust Law and Policy, October 8, 2020

Panelist, ABA Antitrust Masters Course X, October 1-2, 2020

Panelist, Concurrences Challenging Consummated Mergers Under Section 2, September 8, 2020

Panelist, The Global Antitrust Institute Webinar on Privacy, Antitrust, and Big Tech, July 22, 2020

Panelist, UFL Hot Topics in Platform Tech, July 10, 2020

Panelist, Briefing on Key Legal Issues Associated With Returning to the Workplace, June 23, 2020

Speaker, The Federalist Society’s Second Antitrust Chatham House Rules Program, Topic: Nascent Competition, June 10, 2020

Panelist, “Hot Topics,” ABA Antitrust Law Virtual Spring Meeting 2020, April 28, 2020

Moderator, “Celebrating Diversity Reception,” ABA Antitrust Law Virtual Spring Meeting 2020, April 23, 2020

Panelist, “Moving Forward After AmEx: Practical Implications & Applications on Platform Cases,” Competition Policy International Antitrust Analysis of Platform Markets: Beyond American Express, March 30, 2020

Panelist, “Back to the Drawing Board: Is It Time For A Radical Overhaul Of Antitrust Law?”, GCR Live 9th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum, Miami, Florida February 7 2020

Panelist, “How Big Is Too Big?  Big Tech, Antitrust and Privacy,” Law & Economics Center Congressional Civil Justice Academy Event, December 6, 2019.

Testimony on Behalf of the Federal Trade Commission Before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights (September 2019)

Panelist, “Mergers in Two-Sided Markets,” Concurrences and George Washington University 7th Annual Bill Kovacic Antitrust Salon, September 9, 2019

Speaker, “FTC Update,” ABA Section of Antitrust Law, Leadership Forum, Post-Annual Meeting, August 2019.

Speaker, “Antitrust in the Digital Economy: A Snapshot of FTC Issues – Remarks at GCR Live Antitrust in the Digital Economy,” May 22, 2019

Panelist, “Agency Update With the FTC Bureau Directors,” ABA Antitrust Law 2019 Spring Meeting, March 28, 2019

“Technology and Its Discontents,” Remarks Before Capitol Forum’s Fifth Annual Technology, Media, and Telecom Competition Conference, December 13, 2018

Speaker, “Competition and Consumer Protection Implications of Algorithms, Artificial Intelligence, and Predictive Analytics,” Remarks at FTC Hearings on Competition and Consumer Protection in the 21st Century, November 2018

Keynote Speaker, ABA Antitrust Masters Course IX conference, October 19, 2018

Panelist “Antitrust in the Financial Sector: Hot Issues & Global Perspectives,” Remarks at Concurrences conference, May 2, 2018

Panelist, “Competition Policy and the Tech Industry – What’s at Stake?,” CCIA 2nd Spring Antitrust Conference, April 12, 2018

Panelist, “Agency Update With The Bureau Directors,” ABA Antitrust Law 2018 Spring Meeting, April 12, 2018

Keynote Speaker, “It Only Takes Two to Tango: Reflections on Six Months at the FTC,” GCR Live 7th Annual Antitrust Law Leaders Forum, February 2, 2018

Panelist, “Vertical Merger Enforcement at the FTC,” remarks at Credit Suisse 2018 Washington Perspectives Conference, January 10, 2018

Panelist, “Innovation, IP, and Disruptive Technologies,” ABA Antitrust Fall Forum 2017, November 16, 2017

Keynote Speaker, AMCham EU’s 34th Annual Competition Policy Conference, October 27, 2017

Panelist, “Pleading and Proving Conspiracy,” Antitrust Masters Course VIII, October 1, 2016

Panelist, “Advanced Merger Economics,” Antitrust Masters Course VIII, September 30, 2016

Panelist, “Advanced Empirical Methods, Antitrust Economics for Young (and Old) Lawyers Workshop,” Fordham University School of Law, Fordham Competition Law Institute, September 30, 2015