U.S. Senate approves FTC, FCC nominees

WASHINGTON Wed Jan 2, 2013 10:04am EST

WASHINGTON Jan 2 (Reuters) - The Senate late on Tuesday approved the nominations of Joshua Wright to the Federal Trade Commission and Mignon Clyburn to a second term as commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.

The approvals had been expected, although Wright, a law professor at George Mason University, had a acrimonious confirmation hearing in early December in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee.

The committee did not vote on Wright's nomination but instead sent it, along with Clyburn's, directly to the Senate, which on Tuesday voted on a flurry of pending presidential nominations.

Wright, a Republican, has served as director of research at the International Center for Law and Economics, which has received funding from Google, the internet search giant that is the subject of a long-running FTC antitrust case.

In academic papers, Wright has questioned the merits of bringing the case against Google. In his confirmation hearing he pledged to recuse himself from any Google case for two years, should he be confirmed.

He will join the commission for a seven-year term.

Clyburn, a Democrat and the daughter of South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn, joined the FCC, which regulates telecommunications, in 2009 for a partial term.

Her new appointment will run for five years, retroactive to July 1, 2012.

In a statement, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said Clyburn "has been a strong advocate in seeking to extend the benefits of broadband to all Americans."

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