Democrats finally get their FTC majority back

It took eight months of hearings, nominations, delays due to health – a draw for the Vice President, but the Senate approved. Alvaro Bedoyan as the fifth commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission. More importantly,’s almost certainly why his approval was such a protracted և controversial process, he’s the third Democrat և he will probably have a decisive vote soon.

In: announcement:Bedoyan said he was excited to work with four other commissioners, “really excited to work alongside the Federal Trade Commission’s public servants.”

The FTC has been blocked by two Republican commissioners (Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson) and two Democrats (President Lina Khan and Rebecca Kelly Slotter) for most of Khan’s tenure. All Khan wanted to do that was necessary for the commission vote was either to get the support of at least one Republican, or it would not happen at all. It will not be like that anymore!

“Alvaro’s knowledge, experience and energy will be a great advantage for the FTC as we pursue our hard work,” Khan said. it is said in the announcement. “I am delighted to be working with him and our other Commissioners when his appointment with President Biden is finalized.”

Bedoyan comes from the FTC Georgetown’s Center for Privacy and Technology Law, of which he was the Founding Director. His nomination, which was announced in September, was welcomed by privacy advocates. Bedoyan said to himself confirmation hearing Last year, he intended to focus on privacy issues, including data and face recognition. Without the Federal Consumer Privacy Act, the FTC has limited powers, but it can still: և has – went to companies for privacy issues.

During his hearings, Republicans in the Senate argued that they were not disputing Bedoya’s secrecy, but her. public tweets. Bedoyan tweeted that President Trump is one white preferred Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) ishousehold control agency»: At the meeting, Senator Ted Cruz accused Bedoya of being a “left-wing activist, provocateur, bomber” and an extremist. Senator Roger Wicker said he believed Bedoya’s “sharp views” meant he would not be able to work with Republican lawmakers. Bedoyan said the tweets were made when he was a private citizen in response to government actions he said were harmful. On Tuesday, a day before Bedoya’s approval, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Bedoya a “stupid choice” and a “terrible nominee.”

It is more likely that the Republicans’ problems are not with Bedoya or his tweets, but with the fact that Bedoyan gives the FTC a Democratic majority that was missing after Rohit Chopra left in October. Republicans are not get excited With Khan’s work at the FTC, at the very least, seeing him as a divisive radical progressive who intends to change the agency’s approach to antitrust issues, give him more powers than they think he should have. The business world is also not a fan of Khan. The lobby group of the US Chamber of Commerce has formed no secrets about his problems recently sent a letter Senators Chuck Schumer և Mitch McConnell urged them to postpone Bedouin’s vote because his approval would give Khan a majority.

Antitrust reform և: privacy Lawyers, on the other hand, cited Bedoya’s approval.

“With President Lina Khan և Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slatter, we can finally imagine an effective FTC playing a vital role in leveling the playing field and rebuilding our economy,” said Stacey Mitchell, co-chair of the Local Self-Government Institute. it is said in the announcement.

Bedoya’s approval has been criticized by Big Tech-friendly lobby groups such as NetChoice, which he said“President Khan has the necessary votes to pursue his radical progressive goals at the expense of the FTC’s politicization,” which “will hurt all Americans by undermining healthy, competitive markets.”

The anti-Bedouin side found its way for some time. Bedoya’s approval was significantly delayed. The Senate has long demanded that Bedoa be re-elected earlier this year. When it became clear that no Republicans would vote for Bedouin, Schumer had to wait until all Democrat senators, including Vice President Harris, were present to vote for him. Democrat Senators և Vice President tested positive for Covid-19. On May 11, Bedoyan was confirmed 51-50.

This does not mean that the FTC has not done anything in the last seven months. The agency unanimously agreed to block a mass merging semiconductor chips Nvidia և ARM և companies like և merger Lockheed Martin և Aerojet և. And Khan was able to move forward with things that did not require an agency vote – they probably would not have won the votes of the Republican commissioners if they had.

Khan: could not to get votes for a survey of pharmacy benefit managers, something he said.greatly disappointed“His. And the FTC did not act on it Amazon-MGM: merging before closing it, which many was expecting Given Khan’s story, criticizing Amazon for its alleged anti-competitive actions.

Bedoyan will enter an agency that seems to have internal problems. There is an internal commissariat dispute, for example, Wilson has made of: no secret: his disgust with Khan’s approach to leadership և antitrust. But a last poll: He showed that the agency’s staff’s trust and respect for senior executives had plummeted during Khan’s short tenure. The FTC told Recode that the survey was conducted at a time of significant change at the FTC, that Khan “has great respect” for FTC staff, and “is committed to making sure the FTC continues to be a great place to work.” »: »

As for the Republican commissars, however, there is reason to believe that they will get along better with Bedoya than obviously with Khan. Phillips congratulated On Bedoyan affirmation, calling him “my friend”, while Wilson in tweets that he “looks[ed] looks forward to working with him, particularly on child privacy issues. ”

Together with Bedoya, Khan can run the FTC as he did last summer, when the FTC had three Democrat commissioners, which he certainly imagined from the moment he became its chairman. Meanwhile, the agency successfully resumed its lawsuit against Meta with Wilson և Phillips voting against it. Khan no longer has to be content with what the Republican commissars want. The Amazon-MGM merger could have been closed, but it can still be challenged.

And Bedoyan, true to his word, will probably work to improve the privacy of consumer data. Khan has has already been announced that the FTC will monitor the confidentiality of data that has received a lot last attention Following the news that: Ron vs. Wade can be canceled as a matter of consumer protection և competition. This should irritate Big Tech companies, whose strength is largely based on the data they collect.

Updated: May 11, 5:00 PM ET: This story has been updated to include statements from Bedoya, FTC Commissioners և Advocacy groups.

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