FTC Commissioner Announces Resignation, Cites 'Abuse Of Power' By Chair

Republican Federal Trade Commissioner Christine Wilson announced on Tuesday that she plans to resign, due to Chair Lina Khan's alleged “disregard for the rule of law.”

“I have failed repeatedly to persuade Ms. Khan and her enablers to do the right thing, and I refuse to give their endeavor any further hint of legitimacy by remaining,” Wilson wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed posted Tuesday afternoon.

“My fundamental concern with her leadership of the commission pertains to her willful disregard of congressionally imposed limits on agency jurisdiction, her defiance of legal precedent, and her abuse of power to achieve desired outcomes,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson, a former antitrust attorney appointed in 2018 by ex-president Donald Trump, dissented from several recent high profile moves of the FTC -- including its decision to begin crafting online privacy rules.

She also disagreed with some of the agency's antitrust initiatives, including its attempt to block Meta from purchasing Within Unlimited, and to prevent Microsoft from acquiring Activision. Even before Khan's tenure, Wilson dissented from at least one high-profile antitrust decision-- the 2020 lawsuit against Meta over its acquisition of Instagram and WhatsApp.

In the op-ed, Wilson listed several examples of alleged attempts by Khan to exceed the agency's authority. Among them was the decision to launch a proceeding in January that could ban almost all noncompete clauses for employees.

Wilson wrote that the proposal to ban noncompetes would defy a recent Supreme Court decision that limited agencies' power.

She wrote that she intends to resign "soon," but didn't provide a departure date.

Khan, along with Commissioners Rebecca Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya, said in a joint statement that they "often disagreed" with Wilson, but "respect her devotion to her beliefs and are grateful for her public service."

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