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David McCabe Jan 23, 2017
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FTC chair contender may limit cases against companies

Republican FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen is reportedly going to be named acting chair of the agency by Donald Trump in the near future. If given the job, here's what she could do, according to remarks at a conference today:

  • Direct staff to look for "substantial harm" when investigating industry practices — which would likely limit the number of cases brought by the agency.
  • Convene a workshop to revisit on the standards used by the agency when deciding when to intervene in with agency action.

What she probably couldn't do: Pull back on the agency's recent lawsuit against Qualcomm. Ohlhausen said she believed doing so would require a majority commission vote, and the only other commissioner who will be left after Chairwoman Edith Ramirez resigns in February voted for the lawsuit. Reminder: Trump needs to appoint two Republicans and one Democrat to complete the panel and restore Republican majority.