One of Google’s staunchest allies in the U.S. government is resigning.
On Monday (Aug. 17), it was announced by the Federal Trade Commission that Joshua D. Wright, who has been a commissioner with the FTC since January 2013, will leave his post on Aug. 24.
As noted by Fortune, Wright had been appointed to the FTC in 2012 by President Obama and had faced criticism for his views on Google, especially concerning antitrust issues. Fortune reported that Wright had been seen by some as an ally of Google’s, given his ties to previous research on Internet search that had been partly funded by the company.
In response to those criticisms, and beginning in 2014, Wright recused himself from any matters surrounding the company for two years.
As recapped by Fortune, the FTC investigated various Google practices two years ago and reached a settlement with the company. The key commission findings back then concluded that Google had manipulated search results in order to benefit its own properties at the expense of those owned and operated by various competitors. And a study in June of this year, authored by a team of researchers — including a former FTC advisor — and social media player Yelp, found that Google sought to promote its own content over that of peer companies. In the meantime, Google is currently facing an antitrust investigation by the European Union, which in turn hinges on complaints from 19 companies across the continent.
Wright will return to his previous, pre-FTC career as a professor at the George Mason University School of Law.