Svetlana Gans, leading FTC candidate, has Big Tech ties: insiders

The main candidate for the soon-to-open regulator slot on the Federal Commerce Fee has a protracted historical past of working to push Huge Tech’s agenda, The Submit has realized.

Svetlana Gans, a accomplice at legislation agency Gibson Dunn, has been quietly assembly with main Republicans, together with Senate Minority Chief Senator Mitch McConnel, about taking up the position of FTC commissioner, based on sources.

Gibson Dunn’s shoppers have included Fb, Google and Amazon. Gans additionally had a stint with The Web and Tv Affiliation, the place she labored with main cable and telecom firms.

In a Wall Avenue Journal op-ed penned by Gans, she argued the Supreme Court docket had a authorized foundation to strike down a lot of the FTC’s goals below progressive Chair Lina Khan.

“Because the FTC advances its aggressive agenda, there’s a definite chance it is going to find yourself limiting not American enterprise however the FTC itself,” Gans wrote with Eugene Scalia, former Secretary of Training and the son of late Justice Antonin Scalia.

Gans labored for almost a decade as chief of employees for Republican FTC Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen, who many considered as slow-walking regulation on Huge Tech. Ohlhausen left the FTC in 2018 to tackle work at Baker Botts, the place she is at present representing Amazon in an FTC investigation, based on Politico.

Gans didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Lina Khan, the ultra-progressive FTC chair, is aiming to crack down on Huge Tech firms.
Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

Gans’ monitor report — mixed along with her current op-ed — are elevating eyebrows amongst conservatives who’re nervous she could haven’t any qualms with Huge Tech’s affect.

“Svetlana Gans can be an absolute catastrophe for Republicans that wish to maintain Huge Tech accountable. She has a historical past of friendliness with Huge Tech, and works for a legislation agency that represents Fb,” a former Senate Judiciary aide informed The Submit. “Conservative teams will oppose her.”

Gans has not been nominated however she is seen because the doubtless decide for the FTC after Noah Phillips, one among two Republican-appointed FTC commissioners, introduced his plans to depart this fall, based on insiders.

Whereas his departure gained’t change the Democratic majority, a pro-tech decide might stall or complicate Khan’s efforts to crack down on firms like Fb and Google.

The FTC, which is tasked with defending the general public from unfair enterprise practices, is comprised of 5 members — with not more than three of the 5 regulators hailing from the identical political celebration at one time.

The president appoints the FTC chair and nominates a candidate if a commissioner within the majority leaves. The highest senator from the minority celebration, on this case McConnell, nominates a candidate if a commissioner within the minority leaves.

FTC office in DC
Gans has not been nominated however is seen because the doubtless decide to exchange Noah Phillips when he leaves this, insiders say.
Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

A spokesperson for McConnell declined to remark.

These with information of the FTC course of fear Gans will decelerate or impede the company’s potential to manage Huge Tech.

“There are a variety of ways in which individuals who like Huge Tech might muddy the waters,” an insider informed The Submit. “There’s a degree the place she could also be within the majority on the FTC and that might actually damage the agenda.”

Gans’ husband, Jon Gans, can also be carefully allied with tech firms. He beforehand lobbied for Apple and is now working for Microsoft at his brother’s lobbying agency Polaris Consulting.

Noah Phillips
Noah Phillips is leaving the FTC this fall.
Bloomberg through Getty Pictures

“We don’t desire a Huge Tech shill. We don’t need somebody who’s made a profession out of boosting the biggest firms on this planet,” Jon Schweppe, coverage director at American Rules Mission, informed The Submit.

“We would like somebody who can be robust, however honest — somebody who can be skeptical of Huge Tech’s concentrated energy and prepared to crack down on Huge Tech’s anti-competitive habits,” he added.

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