These conservative groups oppose Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak’s nomination to the FTC. Here’s why.

The trio of conservative organizations allege Holyoak has a history of interfering with government efforts to rein in big tech corporations

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Melissa Holyoak, state solicitor general, speaks to the crowd, as the Davis County Republicans hold their nominating convention at Farmington High School, on Saturday, March 26, 2022. A trio of conservative organizations oppose Holyoak's nomination as an FTC commissioner, alleging she has a history of interfering with government efforts to rein in big tech corporations

A coalition of conservative groups is opposing the nomination of Utah Solicitor General Melissa Holyoak to serve on the Federal Trade Commission for her alleged efforts to stymie government attempts to hold big tech companies accountable.

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden nominated Holyoak to a seven-year term as an FTC commissioner. Attorney General Sean Reyes named Holyoak as the state’s top litigator in 2020.

Three groups, the Bull Moose Project, the New York Young Republican Club and ACT! For America sent a letter to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the top Republican on the Senate committee that will consider Holyoak’s nomination, because of, in their words, “Holyoak’s history of attempting to kneecap the work of the government in holding Big Tech companies accountable.”

“Ms. Holyoak’s ties to global Big Tech corporations make her wholly unsuitable for the position,” the letter reads.

The trio of organizations says Holyoak worked against government efforts to rein in big tech companies when she worked for the Center for Class Action Fairness at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and later as a founder of the Hamilton Lincoln Law Institute. They allege that those groups raked in tens of thousands of dollars from technology companies while Holyoak was employed there.

“During her time with these organizations, Holyoak and her partner Ted Frank, objected to dozens of class action settlements involving Google and other companies that were duly reached under the auspices of the federal courts. And she sought to overturn FCC conditions on a megamerger among giant telecom companies,” the group’s letter says.

“Americans deserve FTC commissioners who are genuinely committed to the mission of the agency, not who have spent the past decade actively working to sabotage it. We urge you to exert your review power to ensure that the nomination of Melissa Holyoak not come to the floor,” the letter closes.

Holyoak declined to comment on Friday afternoon.

A statement from the Bull Moose Project to The Salt Lake Tribune on Friday said Holyoak’s record deserves more scrutiny as the Senate considers her nomination.

“We believe Senators should look more closely at this before confirming her. We welcome her to provide clarity on her past and her opinions on current issues in front of the FTC,” the email statement read.

Earlier this month, Sen. Mike Lee praised Holyoak’s nomination when it was first announced, calling her a “smart, principled attorney.”

The Utah senator is no longer in a position to help shepherd Holyoak’s nomination before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. Lee was booted from his seat on the committee in February by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in retaliation for backing Florida Sen. Rick Scott’s challenge to McConnell for the Senate GOP’s top leadership spot.

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