(FiveNation.com)- A top candidate to be named to the Federal Trade Commission has many conservatives concerned because he has a history of pushing the agenda of Big Tech firms.
It’s been rumored lately that Svetlana Gans is the leading candidate to serve as an FTC commissioner, and as such, she’s been meeting with leading Republicans in Congress, including Mitch McConnell, the current minority leader in the Senate.
The problem for conservatives, though, is that she is the partner at a law firm, Gibson Dunn, whose clients include Big Tech firms Google, Amazon and Facebook. In addition to that, she once worked with The Internet and Television Association, which had her working alongside many telecom and cable companies.
Gans once penned an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, in which she argued that the Supreme Court had legal authority to strike down many of the objectives set out by the FTC under the leadership of Chair Lina Khan, a progressive.
The op-ed was jointly written by Gans and Eugene Scalia, who is the son of the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and the former Secretary of Education. In it, they wrote:
“As the FTC advances its aggressive agenda, there’s a distinct possibility it will end up restricting not American business but the FTC itself.”
For almost 10 years, Gans worked as the chief of staff for Maureen Ohlhausen, who is a conservative FTC commissioner. Many people believe that Ohlhausen has been very lenient in her actions and approach to Big Tech firms.
Ohlhausen departed the FTC back in 2018 to take a job with Baker Botts. She’s currently working there as the representation for Amazon as it’s facing an investigation by the FTC.
It’s this track record, as well as the op-ed that she penned, that has many conservatives concerned that Gans would also not try to limit the influence that Big Tech companies have.
A former aide to the Senate Judiciary Committee, who remained anonymous, told The New York Post recently:
“Svetlana Gans would be an absolute disaster for Republicans that want to hold Big Tech accountable. She has a history of friendliness with Big Tech, and works for a law firm that represents Facebook. Conservative groups will oppose her.”
At this point, Gans has not been officially put forward as a nominee to replace FTC commissioner Noah Phillips, who announced that he would be stepping down from his post in the fall. Phillips is one of two commissioners appointed to the FTC by Republicans.
There are five members who sit on the FTC, and the rules state that no more than three can come from one political party. The chair is appointed by the president.
When a commissioner from the majority party departs from the FTC, the president is the one who gets to nominate the replacement. If a commissioner from the minority party departs, then the leading senator from that party is the one responsible for making the nomination.
In this case, it would be McConnell who would hold that responsibility, which is why he met with Gans recently.