As expected, Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz
is exiting the FTC after four years atop the agency. He will exit Feb. 15, an
FTC spokesman confirmed, but announced no future plans.
"We extend our gratitude to chairman Leibowitz for his
service to our nation and for his tireless dedication to the ideals of
competition and consumer protection," said National Cable and Telecommunications
Association president Michael Powell. "During his exemplary tenure at the
Federal Trade Commission, Jon has demonstrated that much can be achieved
through tough questions, fair hearing, and a consensus driven process. We wish
him the very best in all his future endeavors."
backed the FCC's network neutrality rules, which NCTA did not oppose since
the proposed alternative was Title II regs on Internet Access that the cable
industry considered a nuclear option.
Leibowitz presided over a couple of investigations and
eventual settlements with Google over privacy issues, and made revising child
online protection enforcement one of his key goals. He also helmed new food
industry marketing guidelines. Leibowitz emphasized "vigorous"
self-regulation in the area of online privacy, and tended to give industry credit
for efforts in that direction, but also frequently said they had not gone far
Leibowitz has been a commissioner there since September
2004. Before that, he was a Hill staffer, including working for the late
Senator Paul Simon. Leibowitz is also former VP for congressional affairs at
the Motion Picture Association of America.
Still no word on when, or whether, Leibowitz's friend and
opposite number at the FCC, chairman Julius Genachowski, may exit. He, too, is
in the fourth year of his chairmanship.