By Diane Bartz
WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Federal Trade Commission
Chairman Jon Leibowitz, who had been expected to step down on
Feb. 15, has extended his tenure into next week, FTC spokesman
Peter Kaplan said.
A replacement for Leibowitz, who has been at the agency for
eight years, has yet to be named. Leibowitz became a
commissioner in 2004 and chairman in March 2009.
During his term, the FTC investigated allegations that Intel
Corp and Google Inc broke antitrust law. It also won
multimillion-dollar settlements from Skechers USA Inc and
Reebok, which is owned by Adidas AG, for advertising "toning
shoes" with unfounded claims the footwear would enable users to
Leibowitz has been energetic in fighting deals that
brand-name pharmaceutical companies make with generic drugmakers
to delay the manufacture of cheaper versions of best-selling
The U.S. Supreme Court is due to take up these "pay for
delay" arrangements in an oral argument next month.
Candidates to succeed Leibowitz are Commissioners Julie
Brill and Edith Ramirez; Howard Shelanski, director of the FTC's
Bureau of Economics; and Philip Weiser, a veteran of the White
House and Justice Department who now teaches law at the
University of Colorado in Boulder.
Brill and Ramirez would not face confirmation by the Senate
and are considered front-runners. Any new commissioner would
require Senate confirmation, which could easily take several
Without Leibowitz, a Democrat, the agency will have two
remaining commissioners from each party. This raises the
possibility of a string of deadlocked 2-2 votes.
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