House Subcommittee Schedules FTC Oversight Hearing

The House Digital Subcommittee will hold an oversight hearing on the Federal Trade Commission July 18.

FTC building, "Man Controlling Trade" sculpture

FTC building, "Man Controlling Trade" sculpture

It will be the subcommittee's first chance to hear from new FTC chair Joe Simons and the other new commissioners. For the first time in over a year, the agency is at full strength (five members).

Also on the commission are new members Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, Noah Joshua Phillips and Rohit Chopra, and former acting chair Maureen Ohlhausen.

Ohlhausen will remain a Republican commissioner pending the status of her judgeship nomination. Christine Wilson, who has been confirmed by the Senate but not sworn in yet, will replace Ohlhausen once that judgeship nomination is approved and Ohlhausen exits, or on Sept. 25, when Ohlhausen's term expires.

The FTC is looming larger in communications circles given the return of broadband privacy oversight to the agency and its new network-neutrality enforcement responsibilities with the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as non-common carriers; the FTC is prevented from regulating common carriers.

Related: FTC Won't Be Neutral on Net Neutrality

“The FTC has long been known as the ‘cop on the beat’ for consumer protection, and in today’s fast-moving internet age, the commission is tackling a new set of challenges when it comes to keeping consumers – and their information – safe," said subcommittee chair Bob Latta (R-Ohio).

Related: FTC's Simons Says Agency Has Resources to Oversee ISP Net Neutrality

Simons made clear last week that the FTC was in the broadband oversight businesses, saying the agency would vigorously enforce its authority in the space.

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.