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The FTC finally gets a full slate

Mar 11, 2024
Federal Trade Commission Building

FTC headquarters. Photo: Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

FTC chair Lina Khan has a Republican check on her power now that the Senate has confirmed President Biden's two Republican nominees to the commission.

Why it matters: Last week's confirmation of Andrew Ferguson and Melissa Holyoak will make Khan's agenda and priorities only slightly more difficult to achieve, because Democrats still have the majority.

  • Republicans on the Hill who have railed against Khan's policies now have commissioners to call upon as a counterbalance, but that's not likely to stop their complaints.

The big picture: Ferguson and Holyoak bring the slate of commissioners back to five, ending the FTC's all-Democratic run.

What they're saying: "I look forward to welcoming Andrew and Melissa to the FTC as we work to vigorously protect Americans from unfair methods of competition and unfair and deceptive business practices," Khan said in a release.

  • "Different perspectives at the commissioner level improve all of the FTC's work," Neil Chilson, former FTC technologist and research fellow at the Center for Growth and Opportunity, told Axios.

What we're watching: Khan has been pushing an aggressive agenda on tech antitrust, warding off mergers, abolishing noncompetes and examining AI investments, with a lot to get done before a potential new administration.

  • Her new Republican colleagues could slow all of that way down.
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