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Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden’s FTC nominee Lina Khan

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The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday advanced President Biden’s nominee to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Lina Khan. 

Four Republicans voted against pushing forward her nomination, signaling further indication of bipartisan support for revamping antitrust laws and enforcement. 

Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) voted against advancing Khan. 

Other Republicans have joined Democrats in touting Khan’s work critiquing big tech companies. 

“I believe she is focused on addressing one of the most pressing issues of the day: reigning in the big social media platforms,” said ranking member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.). 

“However, I do remain concerned that a broadly overregulatory approach as an FTC commissioner could have a negative effect on the economy and undermine free market principles.” 

Khan is an influential antitrust scholar, known for her “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” paper, which she wrote as a student at Yale. She also served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee’s investigation into the market power of the biggest tech companies. 

Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), a leading GOP big tech critic who has proposed a bill to revamp antitrust laws, earlier this month told Washington Post Live he is “impressed” with Khan’s background and track record. 

“The kind of voice she’s brought on these issues is an important one,” Hawley said. 

At the time, though, Hawley said he had yet to make his mind up on how he would vote on Khan’s nomination. 

Khan would be joining the FTC at a critical time. The agency is engaged in a lawsuit against Facebook, along with attorneys general across the country, suing the social media giant over allegations of anti-competitive acquisitions.

Tags antitrust Biden nominees Big tech Cynthia Lummis Federal Trade Commission FTC Joe Biden Josh Hawley Lina Khan Marsha Blackburn Mike Lee Roger Wicker

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