Economy

Trump Nominates Joseph Simmons as Chairman of Federal Trade Commission

President Donald Trump will nominate Washington antitrust attorney Joseph Simons as chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, the White House said Thursday. The White House, in a release, said Simons helped re-invigorate the FTC's non-merger enforcement program, where he "initiated over 100 investigations and produced more non-merger enforcement actions in one year than in any other year in the prior two decades or since".

For some time Trump has been expected to replace Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen as well as fill three empty commission seats, two of which are Republican, plus one Democrat or independent. The president has always been expected to name a Republican as the permanent chair and fill the empty commission seats.

Simons now serves as a partner at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where has represented Mastercard, Microsoft, Time Warner and other corporate clients.

During his tenure at the FTC, the agency sued to stop Diageo and Pernod Ricard from buying Seagram Spirits and Wine in 2001 to prevent a duopoly in rum. The FTC later settled both cases. He specializes in consumer protections for young people and military families and served as the assistant director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under President Barack Obama. It also enforces antitrust laws and protects consumers from deceptive advertising.

Noah Phillips, who graduated from Stanford Law School in 2005, is chief counsel for U.S. Senator John Cornyn, a Texas Republican.

Chopra now serves as a senior fellow at the Consumer Federation of America, is a former Assistant Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, where he served from 2010 through 2015 before being appointed as a Special Advisor to the Secretary of Education. Chopra would join Commissioner Terrell McSweeny as the second Democratic seat, although he is expected to leave soon.



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