Trump will nominate DC antitrust lawyer to chair FTC

Trump will nominate DC antitrust lawyer to chair FTC
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President Trump will nominate antitrust attorney Joseph Simons for chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, a White House spokeswoman confirmed.

Simons is a partner and co-chairman of the antitrust department at the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. He would replace Maureen Ohlhausen, a Republican commissioner who has been serving as acting chairman since January.

Trump will also nominate Rohit Chopra and Noah Phillips to fill the remaining Democratic and Republican commission seats respectively.

The nominations were first reported by Reuters.

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Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) had recommended Chopra, a consumer advocate and former Department of Education official, for a spot on the commission in May.

“Mr. Chopra has dedicated his career to advocating on behalf of average American consumers, not the wealthy and powerful, and I'm confident he will be an excellent fit at the FTC -- I'm happy the Administration accepted our recommendation," Schumer said in a statement.

Phillips is the chief counsel to Sen. John CornynJohn Cornyn Embattled senators fill coffers ahead of 2020 Trump struggles to reshape Fed Congress opens door to fraught immigration talks MORE (R-Texas), whom he has been advising on antitrust and other issues since 2011, according to his LinkedIn page.

It had been reported previously that Simons was to be Trump’s pick to lead the agency.

If confirmed as FTC chairman, Simons will be tasked with policing companies for deceptive practices and overseeing mergers. He previously served as the head of the FTC’s Competition Bureau during the early years of the George W. Bush administration.

“I am honored that the President asked me to serve as the Acting Chairman of the FTC, which has allowed me to lay the groundwork for the Commission’s efforts to protect economic liberty, support small businesses and military consumers, fight fraud, promote vigorous competition, and refocus agency enforcement where it best serves the public,” Ohlhausen said in a statement congratulating Simons.
 
--This report was updated at 1:25 p.m.