Thomas O. Barnett, a senior Justice Department official, will be nominated by President Bush to be the agency's chief antitrust enforcer, the White House said Tuesday.
Barnett, the acting head of the antitrust division since the resignation of R. Hewitt Pate in June, had served as a deputy assistant attorney general for antitrust since 2004.
A graduate of Harvard Law School, Barnett was previously a partner at law firm Covington & Burling in Washington.
The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation. Bush appointed Barnett acting assistant attorney general for antitrust after Pate left the Justice Department in June to return to private law practice.
Besides reviewing corporate mergers and acquisitions for potential antitrust issues, the Justice Department has criminal jurisdiction to prosecute price fixing and bid rigging.
Barnett was the vice chairman of Covington & Burling's antitrust and consumer protection practice before joining the Bush administration in 2004.