The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is supposed to have five Commissioners appointed by the president with the advice and consent of the Senate.

To provide balance in leadership, no more than three of the Commissioners are to be from the same political party. However, the FTC has operated without a full complement of Commissioners for almost a year, and without a Republican voice since March of 2023. The failure to fill the vacant seats on the Commission has opened the FTC to widespread criticism by Congress and the business community at large for operating in a partisan manner.

It now appears as though the political balance will be restored to the FTC with the recent advancement by the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee of the president’s two Republican nominees to the Commission: Melissa Holyoak and Andrew Ferguson. Ms. Holyoak is a 2003 graduate of the University of Utah Law School and currently serves as the Solicitor General for Utah. Mr. Ferguson is a 2012 graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, a former clerk to Justice Clarence Thomas of the Supreme Court, and the current Solicitor General for Virginia.

The last Republican Commissioner, Christine Wilson, departed the FTC abruptly and publicly expressed great concern about the leadership and direction of the FTC. Whether the voices of Ms. Holyoak and Mr. Ferguson can succeed in moderating (or even influencing) the agenda of the current FTC leadership, when previous Commissioners failed to do so, is unclear.

* * *

For additional information about the issues discussed above, or if you have any other antitrust concerns, please contact the Epstein Becker Green attorney who regularly handles your legal matters, or one of the authors of this Antitrust Byte:

E. John Steren
Member of the Firm
Patricia Wagner
General Counsel / Chief Privacy Officer
Jeremy Morris
Member of the Firm
Jump to Page

Privacy Preference Center

When you visit any website, it may store or retrieve information on your browser, mostly in the form of cookies. This information might be about you, your preferences or your device and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to. The information does not usually directly identify you, but it can give you a more personalized web experience. Because we respect your right to privacy, you can choose not to allow some types of cookies. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings. However, blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer.

Strictly Necessary Cookies

These cookies are necessary for the website to function and cannot be switched off in our systems. They are usually only set in response to actions made by you which amount to a request for services, such as setting your privacy preferences, logging in or filling in forms. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not then work. These cookies do not store any personally identifiable information.

Performance Cookies

These cookies allow us to count visits and traffic sources so we can measure and improve the performance of our site. They help us to know which pages are the most and least popular and see how visitors move around the site. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. If you do not allow these cookies we will not know when you have visited our site, and will not be able to monitor its performance.