Technology

Biden to nominate antitrust scholar Lina Khan as FTC commissioner

President Biden on Monday announced his intention to nominate influential antitrust scholar Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Khan, a 32-year-old associate professor at Columbia Law School, would be the youngest FTC commissioner if confirmed by the Senate.

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

More recently, Khan served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee during its investigation into the monopoly power of major digital platforms.

Progressive critics of big tech have been pushing for Khan’s nomination.

“A champion of small businesses, entrepreneurs, and working people, Professor Lina Khan is an extraordinary choice for the Federal Trade Commission,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project.

“Professor Khan is recognized internationally for her groundbreaking legal scholarship, her ability to work across the aisle, and her extensive policy expertise. At the FTC, Professor Khan will be critical for guiding the agency out of decades of severe institutional failure.”

At the FTC, Khan would play a key role in overseeing an antitrust case against Facebook. She would also be involved in the launching of any new antitrust cases against Silicon Valley giants or companies in other industries.

“So very honored and humbled by this nomination, and excited to get to work if I’m fortunate enough to be confirmed!” Khan tweeted after the official announcement.

If Khan is confirmed by the Senate, Biden would still have one more position to fill at the five-member FTC.

Biden elevated FTC Commissioner Rebecca Kelly Slaughter to acting chairwoman in January, and he could still choose to make that appointment permanent.

Monday’s announcement comes shortly after Biden appointed Tim Wu, another critic of tech companies, to special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy.

Updated at 5:45 p.m.

Tags antitrust Federal Trade Commission FTC Joe Biden Lina Khan

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