FTC Names Acting Competition Bureau Chief

Acting Federal Trade Commission chair Maureen Ohlhausen has named Abbott (Tad) Lipsky as the acting director of the Bureau of Competition. The appointment is effective March 6.

Lipsky has been a partner at Latham & Watkins and is co-chair of the antitrust section of the American Bar Association's International Task Force. His resume includes chief antitrust counsel at Coca-Cola.

Deborah Feinstein had been director of the bureau since June 2013. “I am grateful for Debbie’s exceptional service to this agency and consumers,” said Ohlhausen of the departing director.

In addition, Ohlhausen has tapped another Latham & Watkins alum, attorney advisor Alan Devlin, as acting deputy director of the bureau. Devlin joined the FTC in 2015 from the law firm.

In additional Svetlana Gans, former attorney advisor in the Competition and Consumer Protection bureaus has been named chief of staff.

It is unclear how long Ohlhausen will be acting chair or whether she will be made permanent chair. Since the exit of chairwoman Edith Ramirez, the FTC is at only two members—one Republican and one Democrat—so does not have a quorum for public votes.

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.