As We Say Good Riddance, Which Corporate-Funded Entity Will Give Christine Wilson A Warm And Lucrative Welcome? 

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Today marks Christine Wilson’s final day as a Commissioner for the Federal Trade Commission. The question on the top of our minds: Will Wilson follow in the footsteps of her former colleague, and RDP’s 2022 “Revolver of the Year,” Noah Phillips, and move to a cushy BigLaw job defending corporations from antitrust enforcement? 

Christine Wilson’s Anti-Regulatory Record

Corporations across the American economy have benefited from Wilson’s anti-regulatory record, such as her vocal advocacy against antitrust law reform and calling much-needed reviews of Big Tech’s anti-competitive abuses “government micromanagement.”

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She’s regularly argued for a weaker FTC, essentially arguing that collecting consumer’s personal data is fair game for corporations by voting against stricter data security rules for financial institutions like mortgage brokers and payday lenders and dissenting from a FTC report on data privacy over concerns the report exceeds the FTC’s authority.

She also sought to weaken the agency’s resources in light of Lina Khan’s leadership, advocating against President Biden’s proposed 30% budget increase for fiscal year 2023 while simultaneously making a fuss about lower enforcement levels.  

Christine Wilson consistently complains about every move Lina Khan makes, whether it’s criticizing the FTC’s incredibly popular move to ban noncompete agreements, or calling Khan’s involvement in the FTC’s case against Meta a violation of due process.

These complaints are blatant attempts to undermine the credibility of both Khan as a leader and to fend off robust and aggressive antitrust enforcement that could prevent exploitation of everyday Americans in an increasingly consolidated economy.

As with most of Wilson’s public actions, there’s no class of entity which benefits from this sabotage more than monopolistic corporations. 

Accordingly, Wilson’s presumably been weighing offers from the law firms and interest groups that represent these corporations since she announced her resignation last month.

 

Despite Revolving Door Project’s multiple FOIA requests for information on her negotiations with a new employer – information that the FTC has previously provided to us for former Democratic Commissioner Julie Brill – her new employer remains a mystery.

The American public does not yet know where Wilson will end up, or if those plans conflict with her recent actions as an FTC commissioner. 

2023 Revolver of the Year

Revolving Door Project Senior Researcher Andrea Beaty said: “Christine Wilson’s debunked accusations against Khan for violating FTC ethics have drawn more attention to the very real conflicts of interest Wilson’s created during her tenure, including her 2019 vote to allow Bristol-Myers Squibb's acquisition of Celgene, despite Wilson previously receiving compensation from Bristol-Myers Squibb for legal services.

The revolving door playbook leads us to conclude Wilson will join one of the corporate entities she’s been championing and become a contender for RDP’s 2023 Revolver of the Year.

Undoubtedly, even after leaving public service, Wilson will continue to use her status as a former regulator to lend legitimacy to bad-faith attacks on Lina Khan’s powerful leadership as Khan’s FTC continues to move economic power back into the hands of the American public.”