WASHINGTON (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated Virginia Solicitor General Andrew Ferguson and Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak to fill Republican slots at the Federal Trade Commission, the White House said Monday.

If the U.S. Senate confirms them, the two Republicans will not change the balance of power at the FTC, which enforces antitrust law and rules against deceptive advertising. It currently has a Democratic chair, Lina Khan, and two Democratic commissioners.

Khan said in a statement that Ferguson and Holyoak “would bring key skills, experiences, and expertise to the Commission.”

The FTC “operates best at full strength, and I will look forward to working with them,” she said.

Under the Biden administration, the FTC has taken a tougher stand against mergers it finds may lead to higher prices for consumers or stunt innovation.

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook during former President Donald Trump’s administration, which has not yet gone to trial. The agency is expected to file a case against Amazon.com, perhaps as early as this summer.

It is also considering Kroger’s plan to buy rival grocer Albertsons, among other deals.

Ferguson was chief counsel to U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell from 2019 until 2021. He has also worked for Senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley.

A native of Virginia, Ferguson has an undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Holyoak is the Utah Solicitor General with the Utah Attorney General’s Office. She has previously worked as an associate at the law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP, and at Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute, which focuses on fighting class action lawsuits and aggressive regulation, as well as at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Center for Class Action Fairness.

Her undergraduate degree is from the University of Utah, as is her law degree.

Among its current cases, the FTC sued to stop Microsoft’s $69 billion deal to buy Activision, and is awaiting a court decision in the matter.

Also this year, the agency has filed complaints aimed at stopping a pharmaceutical deal, Amgen’s purchase of Horizon Therapeutics, as well as Intercontinental Exchange’s planned purchase of Black Knight. It is also fighting Illumina over its purchase of Grail.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz and Kanishka Singh; Editing by Eric Beech and David Gregorio)

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