Originally published: February 1, 2013
Last updated: February 14, 2013 - 11:57pm
After nearly four years as the head of the Federal Trade Commission, Chairman Jon Leibowitz announced he will step down on February 15, 2013. He has been a Commissioner since September 3, 2004.
Leibowitz, who became FTC chair in the wake of the economic downturn in March 2009, continued the agency’s groundbreaking work on consumer protection and competition issues. “I have been honored to head this extraordinary, bipartisan Commission and to work alongside the best staff in federal government,” said Chairman Leibowitz. “Our small but mighty agency has safeguarded the privacy of Americans and stopped predatory financial practices by companies taking advantage of cash-strapped consumers. Our antitrust enforcement has helped contain health care and drug costs, and helped reduce prices and increase innovation for smartphones, computer chips and other high-tech products.” Setting his priorities as protecting consumer privacy, stopping financial scammers, and promoting competition in health care and high-tech markets, Leibowitz steered the Commission to major enforcement actions and cutting-edge policy work. In the past four years, enforcement has been a major priority at the FTC.
Most recently, the Commission announced a landmark agreement with Google to ensure consumers would continue to be able to buy a variety of high-tech devices from smartphones to games to tablets. The settlement gives competitors access to standard-essential patents, and ensures that companies that advertise on Google’s website will have more flexibility to use rival search engines.
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