Republican Federal Trade Commissioner
Phillips told the agency last week about his plan to leave, a move that may require him to recuse himself from some cases.
“This fall is the right time for me to step down,” he said, adding that his tenure at the FTC was the “honor of the lifetime.” He didn’t specify which month he plans to leave.
His departure will take the five-member commission down to four, with three Democrats and one Republican.
A commissioner since May 2018, Phillips had been a reliable GOP vote against several of Khan’s initiatives, including a revamped monopolization case against
Phillips and his GOP colleague,
Since Khan became chair in June 2021, the traditionally bipartisan agency has become more polarized, frequently voting along partisan lines on cases and policy statements.
Khan thanked Phillips for his service and said “his deeply thoughtful and lively contributions have enriched the agency’s work, and I’ve greatly enjoyed working with him.”
Various conservative groups have started jockeying over a potential replacement for Phillips, which could take months.
The next nominee must be “someone who will seriously enforce antitrust laws against big tech companies,” said Garrett Ventry, a GOP tech critic and former aide to Colorado Republican
“His replacement must be of the same mindset to hold the agency accountable, ensure it operates transparently, and prevent it from overstepping its regulatory authority,” said
Politico earlier reported on Phillips’ planned resignation.
(Updates with Lina Khan comment in eighth paragraph)
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