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Biden reportedly taps top antitrust scholar for FTC

Biden reportedly taps top antitrust scholar for FTC
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President BidenJoe BidenJapan to possibly ease COVID-19 restrictions before Olympics 14 Republicans vote against making Juneteenth a federal holiday China supplies millions of vaccine doses to developing nations in Asia MORE is set to nominate influential antitrust scholar Lina KhanLina KhanBig Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan Biden to nominate antitrust scholar Lina Khan as FTC commissioner MORE to the Federal Trade Commission, Politico reported Tuesday.

The Columbia University associate professor would be the second person Biden has nominated to a key position who has been heavily pushed for by progressive Big Tech critics.

Biden last week appointed Tim Wu as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy last week. 

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Khan's nomination requires the Senate's confirmation, while Wu's does not.

Khan is best known for writing “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” a paper which laid out how the e-commerce giant could be violating antitrust law, while a law student at Yale.

She also served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee during its investigation into the monopoly power of major digital platforms.

At the FTC, she would have the opportunity to oversee an existing case against Facebook and be a part of launching new ones against the Silicon Valley giants.

The White House declined comment on Politico’s report. Khan did not immediately respond to an inquiry.

Biden elevated FTC commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter to acting chair in January. Because fellow Democratic commissioner Rohit ChopraRohit ChopraWarren presses Yellen to ramp up BlackRock oversight FTC eyes new approach to pharmaceutical mergers Senate panel advances Biden's picks to lead SEC, consumer bureau MORE was tapped to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Biden would still have one more nomination to make to the FTC if Khan is ultimately confirmed.

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Progressives celebrated the news on Tuesday, while industry groups and Republicans warned Khan's views on antitrust could ultimately harm the economy.

Sarah Miller, executive director of the anti-monopoly American Economic Liberties Project, told The Hill that it is “encouraging to see Lina’s transformative scholarship being recognized,” highlighting Khan’s work in competition in technology, agriculture and health care.

“We hope that she partners in this important work if she is indeed nominated and confirmed,” Miller added.

Aurelien Portuese, the director of antitrust policy at the tech trade group the Information Technology and Information Foundation, said in a statement, however, that “Khan’s antitrust populism threatens to derail traditional enforcement of antitrust laws as an engine for enhancing consumer benefits and spurring innovation.”

Sen. Mike LeeMichael (Mike) Shumway LeeBig Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC GOP senators press Justice Department to compare protest arrests to Capitol riot Matt Stoller says cheerleading industry shows why antitrust laws are 'insufficient' MORE (R-Utah), who serves on the Senate Judiciary Committee, called reports of Khan’s nomination “deeply troubling.”

“Ms. Khan no doubt has a promising career ahead of her, but being less than four years out of law school, she lacks the experience necessary for such an important role as FTC Commissioner,” he said.

--Updated at 11:15 a.m.