President Trump Nominates Joe Simons to Chair the Federal Trade Commission; President Also Nominates Noted Consumer Protection Advocate Rohit Chopra to the Commission

by Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

President Donald Trump has indicated his intent to nominate Joe Simons, a long-time antitrust lawyer, to chair the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The President also has indicated his intent to nominate Rohit Chopra as an FTC Commissioner.  Mr. Chopra, formerly of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and currently with the Consumer Federation of America, is a close ally of Senator Elizabeth Warren.

Joe Simons served as Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition (2001-2003) during the George W. Bush administration. During his two-year period as director, the Commission initiated more than 100 investigations into potentially anticompetitive mergers and business practices.  Simons brought a greater number of non-merger enforcement actions in one year than any Bureau Director in the twenty-year period prior to his service, and in the fourteen years since. During his tenure as Director, the Bureau investigated anticompetitive practices in a wide variety of industries, including energy, health care and e-commerce. Simons was also a key player in the Commission’s efforts to prevent firms from using exemptions to the antitrust laws to limit competition and inhibit rivals, such as the Commission’s cases against Unocal and Rambus. Because of this record, we expect Simons to be an aggressive enforcer, fulfilling the President’s promise to utilize antitrust and consumer-protection law to protect markets and consumers from unfair, anticompetitive and deceptive practices. In private practice, Simons has represented parties in antitrust merger and litigation matters, including the Rockstar consortium, Sharp Corporation and MasterCard. His public profile suggests, however, that Simons does not have extensive experience practicing before the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, and this fact may have influenced the President’s concurrent selection of Rohit Chopra to join the Commission.

Rohit Chopra is currently a Senior Fellow at the Consumer Federation of America and was  previously an Assistant Director at the CFPB. He is rumored to be the choice of Senator Elizabeth Warren, well known as an aggressive advocate for strong consumer-protection laws and policies. During his tenure at the CFPB, Chopra was involved in enforcement actions that secured hundreds of millions of dollars of relief for student-loan borrowers, and he is credited as having established a state-of-the-art student-loan complaint system. He also has worked at the Department of Education as a Special Advisor. In a departure from recent and common practice, Chopra is not a lawyer; he has an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. If confirmed, he will be the first non-lawyer to serve as an FTC Commissioner since Orson Swindle, who served from 1997 to 2005. Presently focused on consumer-protection issues relevant to students and military families, Chopra can be expected to push the FTC to adopt policies and pursue enforcement actions that may eventually fall out of favor at the CFPB, given that the current director was appointed during President Obama’s administration. The FTC has a significantly broader-consumer protection mandate than the CFPB. As such, his appointment will give Chopra the opportunity to press for an aggressive, broad-based enforcement agenda that will affect practices across the economy.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.