Trump's FTC Nominees Draw D.C. Responses

D.C movers and shakers were weighing in on the news that the President had submitted a new slate of four FTC commissioners to the Senate.

The nominees are:

Rohit Chopra (Democrat) to fill the unexpired term of seven years (through September 2019) of Joshua D. Wright, who resigned.

Noah Joshua Phillips (Republican) for a seven-year term, succeeding Julie Brill, whose term expired in September 2016.

Joseph Simons (chairman, Republican) for the expired term of Democrat Terrell McSweeny, whose term expired in September 2017 but who remains on the commission.

Christine Wilson (Republican) for both the unexpired term of acting chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen (through September 2018), and a new seven-year term starting in September 2018 (Republican).

Getting the FTC to full strength will be important as it assumes oversight of broadband internet access due to the FCC's reclassification of ISPs as information services.

“I commend President Trump’s move to nominate four commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission, bringing us closer to a full complement of leadership at our nation’s top consumer watchdog agency," said Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection Chairman Bob Latta (R-Ohio). "In today’s world of fast-moving innovation and technology, the FTC’s role as the cop on the beat protecting consumers is as important as ever," he said. "I look forward to working with these future commissioners and hope for swift Senate confirmation," said Chairman Latta.

“I would like to extend my congratulations to Joseph Simons, who has been nominated to serve as Chairman of the FTC, and to Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, and Christine Wilson, who have been nominated to serve as FTC Commissioners,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai.  “I look forward to a productive partnership with them on many important consumer issues, including promoting competition and combating illegal robocalls.”

“SIIA welcomes the nomination of Joseph Simons to lead the FTC, given his extensive antitrust work and demonstrated history of fair enforcement in previous roles at the FTC," said Software & Information Industry Association VP for public policy, Mark MacCarthy. 

"Mr. Simons’ expertise and experience ensure that the FTC will focus on bringing cases to protect consumers from marketplace deception, fraud, and other substantial injuries where there is proof of harm to consumers.  Under his leadership, we expect consumer welfare and demonstrated harm to consumers as the touchstones of Commission enforcement actions.

"We also look forward to working with Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, and Christine Wilson.  Mr. Chopra has a history of working to improve consumer welfare in ways that will add a unique perspective to the Commission.  Mr. Phillips brings considerable experience about competition and consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission.  Ms. Wilson has extensive experience working for the Commission, and her deep expertise in both consumer protection and antitrust make her a valuable addition to this new  team  of Commissioners."

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.