As expected, President Joe Biden has announced that he will nominate antitrust expert Lina Khan to serve on the Federal Trade Commission.
Khan, a professor at Columbia Law School, is among the most prominent critics of Big Tech. In 2017, while still a law student, Khan argued in the Yale Law Journal article “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” that antitrust policies should aim to preserve a “competitive process and market structure,” as opposed to just focusing on whether a company's practices harm consumers in the short term.
She also served as legal director at Open Markets Institute, which advocates for aggressive enforcement of anti-monopoly laws.
More recently, she was among the counsel to the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee, which criticized large tech companies in a report issued last year.
Earlier this month, the White House tapped another critic of Bit Tech, Columbia Law professor Tim Wu, to serve as an economic adviser.
On Monday, acting FTC Chair Rebecca Slaughter Kelly cheered news of Khan's possible appointment, stating that her “creative energy, groundbreaking antitrust work, and passion for the FTC’s mission make her an excellent nominee.”
Her nomination is viewed by some as a signal that the current administration plans to crack down on Big Tech.
Robert Weissman, president of the watchdog Public Knowledge, said Monday that Khan's potential appointment as FTC Commissioner “brings us one step closer to holding massive corporations accountable for harming workers, consumers, innovators, and our democracy.”
Open Markets Institute also cheered news of Biden's move. “A generation hence, today will be remembered as one of the most important days in the fight to preserve and rebuild American democracy,” Open Markets executive director Barry Lynn stated Monday.
Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee's Antitrust Subcommittee, added that Khan's prior experience “will be vital as we advance efforts to strengthen enforcement and protect consumers.”