New York, Feb. 8, 2011—Columbia Law School Professor Tim Wu has been named senior advisor to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer protection and competition issues that affect the Internet and mobile markets.
Wu will start in his new position on Feb. 14 in the FTC’s Office of Policy Planning, which assists the agency in the development and implementation of long-range competition and consumer protection policy initiatives, and advises staff on cases raising new or complex policy and legal issues. Wu will take a leave of absence to serve at the FTC.
“Tim is an incredibly bright and creative thinker and the FTC can never have too deep of a bench,” said FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz. “Although he may be known for his work on net neutrality, here at the FTC he’ll be working on issues at the nexus of consumer protection, competition, law and technology.”
Wu first gained prominence by coining the term “net neutrality.” He has received international acclaim for his most-recent book, The Master Switch, which was named a best book of 2010 by the New Yorker, Publisher’s Weekly, Fortune, and other publications.
The Master Switch chronicled the eventual consolidation of most information industries, and predicted the same forces would come to influence the Internet markets. “I think there are critical periods in industry formation where there is a strong need for a public voice” Wu said, “the FTC’s broad mandate of consumer protection and competition policy makes it an extremely important agency right now.”
“The Internet platform has given rise to new and hard problems of privacy, data retention, deceptive advertising, billing practices, standard-setting and vertical foreclosure just to name a few,” Wu added. “The FTC is the agency at the front line of these issues, which have such obvious effects on how we live our lives.”
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