• Kovacic and Rosch Confirmed to FTC
  • January 13, 2006
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The Senate on December 17, 2005 confirmed William E. Kovacic and J. Thomas Rosch to serve as Federal Trade Commissioners.

    The agency anticipates that Kovacic, who will fill a seat vacated in June by Commissioner Orson Swindle, and Rosch, who will replace Commissioner Thomas B. Leary, will be formally sworn in at the Commission in January.

    Kovacic, who is currently a professor at George Washington University Law School, served as the FTC's General Counsel from 2001 to 2004. He also worked at the agency from 1979 to 1983 -- first in the Bureau of Competition's Planning Office and later as an attorney advisor to former Commissioner George W. Douglas. After leaving the FTC in 1983, Kovacic practiced law at a Washington, D.C. firm until joining the George Mason University School of Law in 1986.

    Rosch currently is a partner at a San Francisco law firm. Rosch has been lead counsel in more than 100 antitrust cases. From 1973 to 1975, Rosch served as the director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

    The confirmation process was not entirely smooth sailing. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) opposed confirmation of the Kovacic and Rosch nominations. After separate conversations with Kovacic and Rosch, Wyden said that neither nominee provided "any compelling evidence that they are committed to and will in fact work aggressively toward changing the culture of inaction at the FTC regarding consumer protection in the energy field." He declared: "I'm not going to support business as usual at the FTC, and I'm not going to support business as usual nominees to be FTC commissioners. I will continue to raise my concerns as long as the FTC keeps ducking this most critical consumer protection issue for our citizens -- the skyrocketing price of oil and gasoline. . . . I want to see a more aggressive approach on behalf of the consumer. I'm not convinced that anything will change [with the Kovacic and Rosch nominations to the FTC.]"

    Significance: The confirmation of Kovacic and Rosch means that the FTC has a full count of five Commissioners, which means that it will once again be at full strength.