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US: Key FTC antitrust slots go unfilled

 |  July 9, 2017

The White House is passing up a chance to steer policy on everything from mergers to advertising as it delays choosing from three front-runners to name a permanent chair for the Federal Trade Commission, reports Reuters.

Maureen K. Ohlhausen is Acting Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. She was sworn in as Commissioner on April 4, 2012, to a term that expires in September 2018. On January 26th, 2017, President Donald Trump designated Ohlhausen to serve as Acting Chairman of the FTC

Even without a permanent chair and missing key staff, in the past month, the FTC has forced Walgreens Boots Alliance to scrap a plan to buy Rite Aid, sued to stop daily fantasy sports companies DraftKings and FanDuel from merging and filed a complaint aimed at stopping a North Dakota hospital system from buying clinics.

The Trump administration has not named a permanent chair. For the past several weeks, Ohlhausen, a Republican, has been the leading candidate, according to a person familiar with her candidacy.

Also under consideration are Joe Simons of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton and Garrison LLP, according to the trade publication MLEX. Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is also being considered according to a source close to the situation.

Both Ohlhausen and Simons would be traditional Republican enforcers, meaning that few enforcement decisions would change and the pro-business approach with a slant toward approving big mergers would likely continue.

Full Content: Reuters

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