Regulation

FTC Finds New Chairman In Joseph Simons

So now it’s official. In the latest staffing moves at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), on the heels of a raft of confirmations last week, Joseph Simons has been sworn in as FTC chairman.

As noted by the FTC on Tuesday (May 1), Simons had been named by President Donald Trump to a term that expires in September of 2024. Simons, a Republican, had been confirmed by the Senate on April 26.

That confirmation comes along with a quartet of individuals confirmed last month to serve as commissioners. Three of the four – Republican Noah Phillips, and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter and Rohit Chopra, both Democrats – are expected to be sworn into their positions within the week.

The fourth commissioner, as noted by the FTC, Republican Christine Wilson, has been tapped to occupy the seat held at the moment by Commissioner Maureen K. Ohlhausen. Wilson will take office when Ohlhausen leaves the agency.

“It is a great honor to lead the FTC, an agency that plays a key role in protecting American consumers and promoting competition in the U.S. economy,” Simons said in a statement via the FTC.

Simons comes to the FTC after previously serving as partner and co-chair of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP’s antitrust group.

He is also no stranger to the FTC, where he was previously director of the Bureau of Competition between 2001 and 2003. He also held positions in the 1980s as associate director for mergers and the assistant director for evaluation.

As for the proverbial roadmap: As Bloomberg has noted, the agency is now fully staffed in terms of commissioners, with attention trained on Facebook and its attendant privacy controversy.

In terms of other issues, as remarked upon by Republican Senator John Thune (South Dakota) –who chairs the Senate Commerce Committee, which oversees the FTC – topics include robo-calling and data security.

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