U.S. FTC names Rebecca Slaughter performing chair of the company

FILE PHOTO: Federal Trade Commissioner Rebecca Slaughter testifies to the US Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, Insurance and Data Security in the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, USA on November 27, 2018 about “Federal Trade Commission oversight . REUTERS / Leah Millis

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The US Federal Trade Commission announced Thursday that Rebecca Kelly Slaughter has been appointed acting chairman of the agency.

The outgoing chairman, Joseph Simons, said Tuesday that he, along with members of his senior staff, would be stepping down effective January 29.

The five-person FTC also loses Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who has been appointed head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. It is not immediately clear when he will be leaving the FTC.

On these departures, Slaughter will work with two Republican commissioners, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson.

The agency works with the Ministry of Justice to enforce antitrust law and anti-misleading advertising laws. It is also involved in online privacy issues.

The agency filed a major antitrust lawsuit against Facebook Inc. last month accusing the social media giant of either buying or destroying smaller competitors. The lawsuit is one of several that have been brought against Google or Facebook by federal and state authorities.

In addition, the company negotiated a record-breaking US $ 5 billion fine with Facebook in 2019 for allegedly breaching a 2012 informed consent form by sharing user information with UK consultancy Cambridge Analytica, whose clients the 2016 campaign of President Donald Trump belonged to.

The agency also has an antitrust investigation underway from Amazon.com.

“I am deeply honored and grateful to lead an agency that is critical to getting the US economy back on its feet and functioning fairer for all Americans,” Slaughter said in a statement.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Arrangement by Marguerita Choy

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