After presiding over the investigation and subsequent settlement pertaining to Google's antitrust probe, Jon Leibowitz has confirmed that he'll be resigning as the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. Leibowitz plans to leave his position by mid-February.
"I felt like this was a good time to leave because we got through a number of things that I wanted the commission to address," he told The New York Times.
Formerly an FTC commissioner, U.S. president Barack Obama appointed Leibowitz to head the agency in 2009. He was believed to have been chosen predominately due to his stance on aggressively enforcing antitrust laws and online privacy issues.
During his position as the FTC's chairman, Leibowitz presided over antitrust investigations against Facebook, Google and Intel. In addition to addressing a number of privacy issues, he expanded the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
He's best known for FTC's antitrust investigation into Google's business practices. The probe lasted for 20 months and predominately focused on the method which Google displayed search results. The search giant was accused of favoring its own services over those stemming from its competitors. Google eventually agreed a settlement deal and escaped a substantial fine. It now allows firms to stop showing their results within Google services including Google+ Local, Google Shopping and Hotels.
While it's currently unclear who his successor will be at the FTC, The New York Times said he's likely to work within the private sector in order to focus on competition policy and privacy.