Media-Merger Vet to Head FTC

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Timothy J. Muris, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission since April 2001, is stepping down sometime this summer. His replacement will be a veteran defender of merging media companies.

Muris, who has been instrumental in the FTC's crackdown on deceptive health claims and diet ads, including asking broadcasters to do a better job of policing their airwaves for such ads, gave no reason for the move in his prepared statement.

President Bush is nominating veteran communications attorney Deborah Majoras to replace Muris.

A partner at Jones Day in Washington, Majoras is an antitrust attorney and former deputy attorney general for antitrust from 2001 to 2003. Among the mergers she supervised while at Justice was Univision/HBC. She also argued the appeal of the Microsoft antitrust case.

At Jones Day, Majoras was involved in defending TCI merger moves, including TCI's acquisitions of Liberty and QVC, AT&T's purchase of TCI, and Cablevision's acquisition of some TCI systems. She was also involved in CBS' purchase of Infinity Broadcasting.

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