Senate Commerce Schedules FTC Nomination Hearing

Senate Commerce Committee chairman John Thune (R-S.D.) has scheduled a hearing for Feb. 14 on four nominees for Federal Trade Commission seats--Joseph Simons (chairman), Rohit Chopra, Noah Joshua Phillips and Christine Wilson.

The Administration is certainly hoping the Senate shows them some love.

The FTC has been at the bare minimum two commissioners for most of a year. It can still take action, but it has to be unanimous.

Related: FTC Makes Case for Data Privacy, Security Muscle

Simons would succeed acting chair Maureen Ohlhausen.

Simons has told the committee that he believes the top three challenges facing the FTC are addressing concerns that it has been too permissive in dealing with mergers, reducing the failure rate of some of its divestiture remedies, and protecting consumers from cyber threats without unduly burdening them or preventing companies from using data to "enhance competition.

The commission will be inheriting new broadband oversight responsibilities with the FCC's vote to reclassify ISPs as Title I services, so look for Committee Democrats to press Simons and the other commissioners on that 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.