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Trump Picks Corporate Antitrust Lawyer to Lead FTC

President Trump has chosen Joseph J. Simons, an antitrust lawyer who has represented a number of tech companies, including Microsoft, to lead the Federal Trade Commission.  Other seats at the agency have also been filled, one of which by Rohit Chopra, a fellow at a consumer advocacy group.

The nominations are expected to be approved once reviewed by Congress.

Mr. Simons led the competition bureau of the FTC during the George W. Bush administration.  All signs are that the Commission will continue to pursue a conservative, free-markets approach to antitrust issues.

It will be interesting to see how antitrust policy plays itself out, considering hot button issues such as the growing power of major Internet and digital advertising companies.  While Mr. Simons appears to possess a lot of institutional knowledge, he is not as well-known in the privacy and data security circles, which is the other major policy area under the FTC’s purview.

Chopra, the nominee for a Democratic position, is known for expertise on financial services issues, particularly in the area of student lending.  He was assistant director in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Noah Phillips is expected to be approved as a Republican commissioner.  Mr. Phillips possesses expertise in privacy and antitrust matters.

Consult with an experienced FTC defense lawyer if you are the subject of a Federal Trade Commission investigation or enforcement action.

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Richard B. Newman is an Internet marketing compliance and regulatory defense attorney at Hinch Newman LLP focusing on advertising and digital media matters. His practice includes conducting legal compliance reviews of advertising campaigns, representing clients in investigations and enforcement actions brought by the Federal Trade Commission and state Attorneys General, commercial litigation, advising clients on promotional marketing programs, and negotiating and drafting legal agreements.


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