McSweeny Joins FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is now at full strength. Newly confirmed Democratic Commissioner Terrell McSweeny officially began her term at the commission Monday.

She was confirmed 95 to 1 in a Senate vote April 9. Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) vote no and four others declined to vote. McSweeny was supposed to get a vote back in October, but that was postponed due to the government shut-down.

McSweeny was chief counsel for competition policy at the Justice Department and also served as a domestic policy adviser to Vice President Joe Biden.

At Justice, she worked on drafting the Justice Department comments to the FCC that FCC auction rules should ensure that smaller networks get an opportunity to acquire low-band spectrum. She told Senators during her confirmation hearing that Justice was not setting itself up as an expert on auction rules, only on competition.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week circulated an item on spectrum aggregation that included potentially setting aside low-band spectrum in the broadcast incentive auction to ensure some smaller carrier get a shot at it.

“We are very pleased that Terrell McSweeny is joining the Commission,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in a statement. “Her considerable experience in the law and public policy will be an asset to the agency as it continues to pursue its missions of protecting consumers and promoting competition.”

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.