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August 9, 2022

FTC Commissioner Resigns

Noah Phillips, one of two Republicans on the five-member Federal Trade Commission (FTC), announced his intent to resign in the Fall.  Phillips and fellow Republican Christine Wilson have been frequent dissenters from FTC Chair Lina Khan’s controversial enforcement and regulatory agenda.       

Commissioner Phillips’s term does not expire until September 2023.  By law, no more than three Commissioners can be a member of the same political party, so it will be up to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to recommend a Republican candidate for President Biden to nominate.   Democrat Rebecca Kelly Slaughter’s term expires next month, but the FTC statute allows an incumbent Commissioner to remain in office until a successor is appointed.  Incumbents also may be re-nominated and confirmed.  With or without the Phillips vacancy, Chair Khan will have the majority support she needs to advance her antitrust and other goals.         

According to a news report in Politico, Phillips lamented the uncompromising bent of the current Commission. It is clear that the loss of Phillips, a former aide to well-respected Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), removes a significant voice from FTC deliberations.         

Given the important impact that the FTC has on the business community, AIS will keep clients advised of future developments. 

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