Thomas Rosch, a Republican member of the Federal Trade Commission who has pressed to strengthen U.S. antitrust and consumer-protection enforcement, said he won’t seek to be reappointed when his term expires in September.
Rosch, 72, one of four FTC commissioners, disclosed his plans in an interview today in Washington. He was nominated to the commission by former Republican President George W. Bush, confirmed by the Senate and took office in 2006. A slot for a fifth commissioner is open.
Before serving at the FTC, Rosch distinguished himself as a litigator for corporate clients. He said he wants to return to California, where he practiced law in San Francisco.
“I have no intention at all of litigating again,” he said. “Whether I fully retire is another matter.”
Rosch has supported the efforts of commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz, a Democrat, to use the law that established the agency to broaden its antitrust enforcement powers. The FTC shares responsibility for enforcing antitrust law with the Justice Department.
Rosch was one of four commissioners in 2010 to agree to an FTC settlement with Intel Corp. that banned the world’s largest computer chipmaker from using threats, retaliation or exclusive deals to block customers from buying competitors’ products.
Rosch is known for sometimes being a maverick on the commission. In 2010 he dissented with the agency’s decision to challenge Laboratory Corp. of America’s acquisition of Westcliff Medical Laboratories Inc.
After a U.S. judge denied the FTC’s request for a preliminary injunction, the agency dropped the case.