Technology

Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC

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Lina Khan, a prominent critic of Big Tech, has been named chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a White House spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

The update comes just hours after the Senate voted to confirm the 32-year-old to the agency in a 69-28 vote. 

The designation as chairwoman will give Khan greater authority at the FTC at a time when the agency is pursuing an antitrust case against Facebook and as lawmakers look to revamp laws to give the agency greater authority to rein in the market power of tech giants.

Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced Khan was named chairwoman during a hearing on competition and innovation in home device technology. 

“An interesting development from an antitrust standpoint,” Klobuchar said. 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) hailed Khan’s designation as FTC chairwoman as “tremendous news.” 

“The Biden administration’s designation of @linamkhan as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission is tremendous news. Lina brings deep knowledge and expertise to this role and will be a fearless champion for consumers,” Warren tweeted.

The White House did not immediately release an official statement announcing Khan as FTC chairwoman. 

The Biden pick tweeted that she was “grateful” for her Senate confirmation.

“I’m so grateful to the Senate for my confirmation. Congress created the FTC to safeguard fair competition and protect consumers, workers, and honest businesses from unfair & deceptive practices. I look forward to upholding this mission with vigor and serving the American public,” Khan tweeted.

Khan is known for a paper she wrote as a student at Yale calling out Amazon’s market power. She also served as an aide to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee’s investigation into the market power of tech giants.

She had been boosted by progressives to be nominated to the FTC but had also gained support from some Republicans, notably from GOP Big Tech critics such as Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.). 

However, the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, Sen. Mike Lee (Utah), was among Republicans to vote against Khan’s nomination. 

Tags Amy Klobuchar Elizabeth Warren FTC Josh Hawley Lina Khan Mike Lee
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