ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon PrintIcon Twitter
Politics

Big Tech foe Lina Khan assumes top US FTC post

Antitrust expert has reported market dominance abuse by Apple, Amazon and others

Lina M. Khan testifies during a Senate hearing on April 21.   © Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Lina Khan, an antitrust researcher focused on Big Tech's immense market power, was sworn in on Tuesday as chair of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, a victory for progressives seeking a clampdown on tech firms who hold a hefty share of a growing sector of the economy.

Hours earlier, the U.S. Senate had confirmed Khan, with bipartisan support.

She recently taught at Columbia Law School. Previously, as a staffer for the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust panel, she helped write a massive report alleging abuses of market dominance by Amazon.com Inc, Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Google parent Alphabet Inc. "We applaud President Biden and the Senate for recognizing the urgent need to address runaway corporate power," advocacy group Public Citizen said in a statement.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted that the administration's selection of Khan was "tremendous news."

"With Chair Khan at the helm, we have a huge opportunity to make big, structural change by reviving antitrust enforcement and fighting monopolies that threaten our economy, our society, and our democracy," Warren said in a separate statement.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), whose board includes representatives from tech companies, issued a statement warning that a "populist approach to antitrust" would "cause lasting self-inflicted damage that benefits foreign, less meritorious rivals."

The federal government and groups of states are pursuing various lawsuits and investigations into Big Tech companies. The FTC has sued Facebook and is investigating Amazon. The Justice Department has sued Google.

Ahead of Khan's appointment, Google and Amazon declined comment and Apple and Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

Biden previously selected fellow progressive and Big Tech critic Tim Wu to join the National Economic Council.

In 2017, Khan wrote a highly regarded article, "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," for the Yale Law Journal. It argued that the traditional antitrust focus on price was inadequate to identify antitrust harms done by Amazon.

In addition to antitrust, the FTC investigates allegations of deceptive advertising.

On that front, Khan will join an agency adapting to a unanimous Supreme Court ruling from April which said the agency could not use a particular part of its statute, 13(b), to demand consumers get restitution from deceptive companies but can only ask for an injunction. Congress is considering a legislative fix.

Khan previously worked at the FTC as a legal adviser to Commissioner Rohit Chopra, Biden's pick to be director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this monthThis is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia;
the most dynamic market in the world.

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia

Get trusted insights from experts within Asia itself.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 1 month for $0.99

You have {{numberArticlesLeft}} free article{{numberArticlesLeft-plural}} left this month

This is your last free article this month

Stay ahead with our exclusives on Asia; the most
dynamic market in the world
.

Get trusted insights from experts
within Asia itself.

Try 3 months for $9

Offer ends July 31st

Your trial period has expired

You need a subscription to...

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers and subscribe

Your full access to Nikkei Asia has expired

You need a subscription to:

  • Read all stories with unlimited access
  • Use our mobile and tablet apps
See all offers
NAR on print phone, device, and tablet media

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more