McSweeny, nominated in June, is a former domestic policy adviser
to Vice President Joe Biden and is now chief counsel for competition
policy at the Justice Department's antitrust division.
The vote was 95-1 for McSweeny with David Vitter, a Republican from
Louisiana, voting against her nomination.
McSweeny's confirmation will give Democrats a majority on the FTC,
which works with the U.S. Department of Justice to enforce antitrust
law and investigates allegations of deceptive advertising, among
The commission is chaired by Edith Ramirez, a Democrat and a law
school classmate of President Barack Obama. The third Democrat is
Julie Brill. Rounding out the group are Republicans Maureen
Ohlhausen and Joshua Wright.
"We are delighted that the Senate has confirmed Terrell McSweeny to
serve as an FTC Commissioner. Terrell is a dedicated public servant,
and we look forward to working with her on the many important issues
facing the Commission," Ramirez said in a statement.
The FTC is currently considering several mergers, including a plan
by food distributor Sysco Corp to merge with rival U.S. Foods Inc.,
and a proposed combination of grocery chains Kroger and Harris
[to top of second column]
Before McSweeny's confirmation there had been concern that some
merger decisions could end in a 2-2 tie. In the case of a deadlocked
vote by commissioners, the FTC takes no action.
The agency is also pursuing the issue of "patent trolls," companies
which assemble portfolios of weak patents and then demand licensing
fees from large numbers of companies for alleged infringement.
It also works on online privacy issues, which can pit companies
against consumers, and pursues companies accused of deceiving
(Reporting by Ros Krasny and Diane Bartz;
editing by Sandra Maler)
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