WASHINGTON, June 21 President Barack Obama plans
to nominate Terrell McSweeny, a veteran of Vice President Joe
Biden's staff, to be a commissioner on the Federal Trade
Commission, the White House said on Friday.
McSweeny, now chief counsel for competition policy at the
Justice Department's antitrust division, would fill a Democratic
slot on the five-member commission, which enforces antitrust law
and laws against deceptive advertising.
The FTC normally has five commissioners, and no more than
three can be from the same party.
The current vacancy was created when Edith Ramirez, a law
school classmate of Obama and a Democrat, was elevated to the
chairmanship after Jon Leibowitz departed in February.
The commission's other Democrat is Julie Brill. Rounding out
the group are Republicans Maureen Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright.
The position requires Senate confirmation.
Because of the vacancy, there has been concern about
deadlocks leading to inaction. In the case of a 2-2 vote by
commissioners, the FTC takes no action.
The commission is in the process of considering several key
mergers, including the proposed Office Depot Inc deal to
buy rival OfficeMax Inc ; and the television ratings
company Nielsen Holdings NV plan to buy Arbitron Inc
, which dominates radio ratings.