Federal Trade Commission – LINA KHAN- TIM WU- JOE BIDEN- FTC
March 9, 2021
By: NATHANIEL BALLANTYNE
TRUENEWSBLOG- President JOE BIDEN has decided to nominate 32 year old LINA KHAN, a Columbia University legal scholar championed by anti-Big Tech activists, to the Federal Trade Commission. While a law student at Yale University law school, Khan authored a groundbreaking paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” exploring how the online retail giant’s conduct, particularly its pricing practices, could violate antitrust law.
KHAN will join recent hire TIM WU as an economic adviser inside the White House. The addition of Khan signals that Biden is poised to pursue an aggressive regulatory agenda when it comes to Amazon, Google, Facebook and other tech giants.
Sources confirmed Khan is headed to the FTC if she survives Senate confirmation. The addition of Khan and Wu represents a massive shift in philosophy away from the era of BARACK OBAMA, who proudly forged an alliance between the Democratic Party and Big Tech.
At the end of the 2008 presidential campaign, a top Obama adviser marveled that Google’s ERIC SCHMIDT, then the company’s CEO, had worked so closely with the Obama campaign on its tech infrastructure that the work and advice should have been considered a massive in-kind donation. In office the Obama White House and Silicon Valley had a symbiotic relationship.
The ascendance of Khan and Wu, two of the most important intellectuals in the recent progressive antitrust revival, signals a break with that past and hints that Biden is sympathetic to the left’s view that Obama’s laissez-faire policies helped engender the populist backlash that ended with DONALD TRUMP’S election.
Adding Khan to the FTC, a move that will likely be greeted with alarm by the tech industry, also suggests that the White House is already laying the groundwork for a second act that will include a big regulatory push once its early legislative agenda runs its course.
Khan would be one of three Democratic commissioners at the agency, which oversees privacy, data security and some antitrust enforcement, at a time when it’s faced sharp criticism for not doing enough to police major tech firms like Google and Facebook over their privacy practices and past mergers. At 32, she would be the youngest FTC commissioner ever.
Khan served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee’s probe into antitrust and major tech platforms including Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook. As part of the 16-month investigation, Khan honed in on Google’s conduct in the online search market. Before that she was a fellow at the FTC and argued for the agency to adopt rules that would more clearly spell out when companies violate competition law.