FTC Powers Up

The Federal Trade Commission is now up to full strength.

Sworn in this week were four of the five new commissioners--Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Noah Joshua Phillips, Rohit Chopra and new chair Joseph Simons, who was the first sworn in, on May 1.

Acting chair Maureen Ohlhausen will remain a Republican commissioner pending the status of her judgeship. Christine Wilson, who has been confirmed by the Senate but not sworn in yet, will replace Ohlhausen once that judgeship nomination is approved.

"I also congratulate Christine, who will take my seat if I am so fortunate as to be confirmed by the Senate as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims." Ohlhausen said last week of Wilson's confirmation.

In January, President Donald Trump nominated Ohlhausen to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

Already exited is Terrell McSweeny, whose last day was April 28.

Before the swearings-in, the FTC had been down to two commissioners, acting chair Ohlhausen and McSweeny, a Democrat.

The FTC will be under increased scrutiny now that it will be principally responsible for overseeing network neutrality following the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as information services not subject to Title II common carrier regs. Common Carriers are exempt from FTC oversight.  

John Eggerton

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.