By Thomas Lenard
Published in Morning Consult on March 3, 2017
President Donald Trump is likely to announce his choice for Federal Trade Commission chair soon, and according to the scuttlebutt the finalists include Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and the FTC’s Acting Chairman, Maureen Ohlhausen. It should go without saying that the choice for this position should be determined by the candidate’s competence and whether his or her philosophical outlook is in line with the administration’s.
Unfortunately, what should go without saying seems to require saying this time around.
It’s no secret that interest groups and companies often favor particular candidates for high-level positions, and presumably they find ways of making their preferences known. It’s similarly not surprising, then, that some groups prefer Ohlhausen and others prefer Reyes. Presumably some groups perceive philosophical differences between Reyes and Ohlhausen on how antitrust enforcement should be practiced. However, at least according to published reports, much of the lobbying for Reyes is based on a desire for the FTC to take a hard line against a specific company — Google.
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