Former U.S. Acting Associate Attorney discusses net neutrality in Scarff lecture series

Former U.S. Acting Associate Attorney General Bill Baer, who is spending part of the spring term at Lawrence University as the 2017-2018 Distinguished Visiting Scarff Professor, discusses rules governing distribution of content over the internet in a Scarff lecture series address.

Bill Baer
Bill Baer ’72

Baer presents “Net Neutrality, Burger King and Regulating the Internet,” Tuesday, April 24 at 7 p.m. in the Wriston Art Center auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.

For more than eight years, free market proponents and those seeking rules governing distribution of content over the internet have been engaged in battles — in the courts, in Congress, with the Federal Communications Commission and in public forums — about whether government regulation is needed. Baer examines that debate from the perspective of an antitrust enforcer whose mission is to ensure that consumers benefit from competitive markets.

A 1972 Lawrence graduate and current member of the Board of Trustees, Baer spent four years in the U.S. Department of Justice under President Obama. He served as assistant attorney general in charge of the antitrust division from 2013-2016 and one year as acting associate attorney general, the number three position in the department.

During his tenure as assistant attorney general, the antitrust division brought and won more civil and criminal enforcement cases than at any point in its history. While at the Justice Department, Baer also was involved in policy work related to merger enforcement guidelines, net neutrality, the relationship between intellectual property rights and antitrust, and between U.S. trade policy and antitrust enforcement.

Prior to his time in the Justice Department, Baer worked at the Federal Trade Commission on two separate occasions: in the late 1970’s and again from 1995-1999 as director of the Bureau of Competition. He is the only person to lead antitrust enforcement at both the FTC and the Justice Department.

Baer is currently a partner at the Washington, D.C., law firm of Arnold & Porter, where he leads the antitrust division. He has twice been named the best competition lawyer in the world by Global Competition Review and was honored in 2010 by The National Law Journal as one of “The Decade’s Most Influential Lawyers.”

About Lawrence University
Founded in 1847, Lawrence University uniquely integrates a college of liberal arts and sciences with a nationally recognized conservatory of music, both devoted exclusively to undergraduate education. It was selected for inclusion in the book “Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About College.”  Engaged learning, the development of multiple interests and community outreach are central to the Lawrence experience. Lawrence draws its 1,500 students from nearly every state and more than 50 countries.