On October 19, President Trump formally announced his nomination of Joseph Simons to serve as Federal Trade Commission Chair for a seven-year term.
Simons would assume the chairmanship of the agency in lieu of Acting Chair Maureen Ohlhausen, who took the position last January and is expected to remain with the Commission until the expiration of her term in September 2018.
Simons is a former senior FTC official who joined the agency in the 1980s and directed the Bureau of Competition between June 2001 and August 2003 before leaving for private practice. As the chief antitrust enforcer for the Commission, Simons oversaw 70 unanimous enforcement actions and achieved nearly 50 merger enforcement victories. He also played a key role in revitalizing the FTC’s non-merger program by initiating hundreds of enforcement actions.
As FTC Chairman, Simons is expected to be influential in shaping antitrust enforcement at a time when the Commission is being called on to address significant policy issues. His record and stance on broader consumer protection issues are not as well known at this point.
The president also announced the nomination of Rohit Chopra of the Consumer Federation of America to fill another of the Commissioner vacancies. The U.S. Senate must confirm the nominations before they can assume their positions.