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Conservative groups have thrown their support behind acting FTC Chairwoman Maureen Ohlhausen amid rumors that Utah attorney general Sean Reyes is gaining traction for the permanent role.

Ken Blackwell, who was a senior domestic policy advisor to the Trump transition team, said in a Sunday blog post that "it is time to cement her leadership by naming her permanent chair — which many leading conservatives have advocated."

"The time has come for our government officials to be more circumspect in their advocacy for government intervention…Ohlhausen's understanding that there are limits on what regulators can and should do, and the harm that too much government action can have, is precisely what makes her a great chair."

In context: Speculation swirled that Ohlhausen was not the leading candidate for the top FTC role when she was merely named acting chair while Ajit Pai, her counterpart at the FCC, was elevated to permanent chair. She's made a point in recent weeks to crystalize her commitment to a business-first, free-market agenda and what she calls "regulatory humility."

The rub: Ohlhausen takes a traditional Republican approach to antitrust, but some antitrust experts tell Axios that may not square with Trump's more populist view that doesn't rule out some government intervention to keep dominant players in check. In a letter to the FTC last year, Reyes suggested re-opening a Google investigation.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Over 3,000 detained in protests across Russia demanding Navalny's release

Russian police officers beat protestesters at a rally against of jailing of oppositon leader Alexei Navalny in Moscow on Saturday. Photo: Mikhail Svetlov/Getty Images

Police in Russia on Saturday arrested more than 3,300 people as protesters nationwide demanded that opposition leader Alexey Navalny be released from jail.

Details: Demonstrations began in the eastern regions of Russia and spread west to more than 60 cities.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Arizona Republicans censure Cindy McCain and GOP governor

Combination images of Cindy McCain and Gov. Doug Ducey. Photo: FilmMagic/FilmMagic for U.S.VETS/Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Arizona Republican Party members voted on Saturday to censure prominent GOP figures Cindy McCain, Gov. Doug Ducey and former Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who've all faced clashes with former President Trump.

Why it matters: Although the resolution is symbolic, this move plus the re-election of the Trump-endorsed Kelli Ward as state GOP chair shows the strong hold the former president has on the party in Arizona, despite President Biden winning the state in the 2020 election.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

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