Obama Wants Jon Leibowitz For FTC Chairman

President Barack Obama made it official Friday, announcing his intention to nominate Jon Leibowitz as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.

Leibowitz has been a commissioner there since September 2004.

Before that, he was a Hill staffer, including working for the late Senator Paul Simon. Leibowitz is also former VP for congressional affairs at the Motion Picture Association of America.

Just two weeks ago, the presumptive new chairman warned media companies and marketers that the FTC's new privacy protection guidelines could be their last chance to avoid regulation.

"Industry needs to do a better job of meaningful, rigorous self-regulation, or it will certainly invite legislation by Congress and a more regulatory approach by our Commission," he said. "Put simply, this could be the last clear chance to show that self-regulation can - and will - effectively protect consumers' privacy in a dynamic online marketplace."

The Copyright Alliance, which includes studios, sports leagues, and publishers (including B&C parent Reed Elsevier), said consumers will certainly benefit from the appointment, and encouraged his swifth confirmation.

“The Copyright Alliance knows consumers will be well-served by Federal Trade Commissioner Jon Leibowitz in the role of chairman of that important agency, said Commissioner Leibowitz has a long and solid track record of service, not just at the Commission but also as chief counsel and staff director under Chairman Herb Kohl (D-WI) on the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee....We applaud President Obama on this appointment and wish Commissioner Leibowitz speedy confirmation in the U.S. Senate. "

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.