D.C. continued to put out the welcome mat for the newly Senate-confirmed five new Federal Trade Commissioners, whose roles increased in importance when the FCC reclassified ISPs as information services and returned oversight of their online practices to that commission.
“Congratulations to Chairman-designate Simons and incoming Commissioners Phillips, Slaughter, Chopra, and Wilson," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. "These leaders will bring tremendous experience and expertise to our sister agency, and I look forward to working closely with them. From promoting competition to protecting consumers against scam robocalls to ensuring internet freedom, the FCC and FTC have a long track record of effective cooperation, and I’m confident that will continue.“I also would like to congratulate Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen for her outstanding tenure as head of the FTC. In particular, I commend her for championing the cause of economic liberty, targeting regulations that suppress competition and make it harder for many Americans to earn an honest living.”
“I applaud the Senate for confirming Joe Simons, Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, Christine Wilson, and Rebecca Slaughter to our sister agency, the Federal Trade Commission," said FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly. "With a full slate of new Commissioners and Chair at the agency, the FTC has the unique opportunity to appropriately protect consumers given the agency’s statutory charge, while acknowledging the realities of the current marketplace. I have no doubt that this strong group of nominees is up to the task and I stand ready to work with each individual when our jurisdictions or views align. At the same time, I sincerely thank acting Chairman Ohlhausen for her exemplary service and wish her well in her new role, pending Senate consideration.”
,The FCC and FTC will be sharing network neutrality oversight, with the FCC requiring ISPs to declare their intentions in terms of any blocking or throttling or paid prioritization, though ISPs say they won't do the first two, and the FTC charged with insuring whatever they do is not anticompetitive (Justice could have a role there, too), unfair or deceptive
“CTIA and the wireless industry congratulate Joseph Simons, Rohit Chopra, Rebecca Slaughter, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson on their successful Senate confirmations as commissioners to the Federal Trade Commission," said Meredith Attwell Baker, president of CTIA, which represents wireless companies. "They each possess deep expertise and command of communications and consumer issues, and will provide valuable leadership to the FTC’s oversight and understanding of new and evolving technologies. We wish Chairman Simons and the other new commissioners every success in their new roles.”
“[The Software & Information Industry Association] congratulates Joseph Simons on his confirmation to lead the FTC, given his extensive antitrust work and demonstrated history of fair enforcement in previous roles at the FTC," said association VP of public policy Mark MacCarthy. "Under his leadership, we expect consumer welfare and demonstrated harm to consumers as the touchstones of Commission enforcement actions."
"We also look forward to working with Rohit Chopra, Noah Phillips, Rebecca Slaughter and Christine Wilson. Mr. Chopra has a history of working to improve consumer welfare in ways that will add a unique perspective to the Commission. Mr. Phillips brings considerable experience about competition and consumer protection to the Federal Trade Commission. Ms. Wilson has extensive experience working for the Commission, and her deep expertise in both consumer protection and antitrust make her a valuable addition to this new team of Commissioners. Finally, Ms. Slaughter is committed to the FTC mission to protect consumers and promote of free and fair markets."
Jonathan Spalter, president of USTelecom, called the confirmations "good news" for consumers, in part because the FTC will now be at full strength--it had been down to 2 members, the minimum that could make decisions, though they obviously had to be unanimous. By contrast, the FCC needs at least three members to vote on items.
"With a full slate of Commissioners now at the FTC, the nation’s leading consumer protection agency is fully staffed to exert well-defined enforcement authority across the entire internet – from net neutrality to privacy," said MacCarthy. "We look forward to working with the agency to advance a privacy framework that establishes strong protections for consumer data while promoting industry competition.”
"The new FTC leadership will enable the Commission to continue to fulfill its consumer protection mandate," said Computer & Communications Industry Asssociation President Ed Black. "The new confirmations will reinforce the agency's efforts to advocate for antitrust enforcement with the goal to maximize consumer welfare in the U.S. and abroad." "A fully-staffed commission will better enable the agency to protect consumers from identity theft, and thoughtfully address concrete privacy and data security harms."