U.S. FTC commissioner Phillips to resign in autumn

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By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -One of many two Republicans on the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC) who has dissented in a number of antitrust actions filed towards social media firms stated on Monday that he’ll resign later this yr.

FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips stated in a press release he had written to President Joe Biden saying his intent to resign this fall.

Phillips, a former chief counsel for Republican Senator John Cornyn, dissented in December 2020 in an FTC antitrust case filed towards Fb, which is now generally known as Meta Platforms. He additionally dissented final month when the FTC sought a court docket order to dam Meta from shopping for digital actuality (VR) content material maker Inside Limitless.

Democrats maintain a 3-2 majority on the fee and solely three will be from one political celebration.

The FTC works with the Justice Division to implement antitrust regulation and investigates allegations of misleading conduct by firms.

In April, Phillips stated the Biden administration is “as hostile to mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as any in my lifetime.”

He argued that since President Joe Biden took over antitrust enforcement “has been something however vigorous—certainly, it has been sclerotic. By that I imply not simply fewer instances being introduced, however an extended course of with fewer selections being made.

The White Home has made fostering competitors a prime precedence. Nationwide Financial Council director Brian Deese stated final month Biden believes that “driving structural change to advertise competitors throughout the financial system” will “generate extra innovation, larger productiveness, extra alternative within the nation whereas decreasing costs.”

Phillips and fellow Republican FTC Commissioner Christine Wilson final yr requested the White Home to reveal any “proof” of wrongdoing behind excessive retail gasoline costs after Biden urged the company to dig deeper into attainable “unlawful conduct.”

He stated in January he had acquired no response. He stated “an antitrust investigation predicated on fumes would have wasted sources.”

(Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by Mark Porter)

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