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WASHINGTON U.S. Federal Trade Commission
chairwoman Edith Ramirez will step down after more than three
years as chairwoman and six at the agency, the FTC said in a
statement on Friday, adding that her departure will be effective
Ramirez, who worked on the Harvard Law Review with
Democratic President Barack Obama and later for his campaign, is
widely expected to be replaced by Republican Commissioner
Maureen Ohlhausen once President-elect Donald Trump takes office
on Jan. 20.
The commission has five seats, but Ramirez’s decision to
depart leaves just two commissioners in place: Ohlhausen and
Democrat Terrell McSweeny.
Ramirez headed the agency, which enforces antitrust law and
pursues companies that defraud consumers, during what another
antitrust enforcer called a “tsunami” of high-value deals in
industries that already were dominated by a few large players.
Under Ramirez, the agency successfully sued to stop food
distributing giant Sysco Corp from buying US Foods
Holding Corp in 2015 and prevented retailer Staples Inc from buying Office Depot Inc in 2016, among
It lost, however, an effort to prevent medical technology
provider Steris plc from buying British sterilization
services provider Synergy Health Plc in 2015. And it had a mixed
record in its attempts to stop hospitals from merging.
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