Antitrust Scholar Lina Khan To Be Appointed To FTC


Antitrust scholar Lina Khan is tracking to be appointed to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) following a nomination by President Joe Biden, Politico reported on Tuesday (March 9). 

Sources told Politico that as long as Khan is approved by the Senate, she will be confirmed as a new FTC commissioner, tasked with collaborating with the Justice Department to enforce antitrust law and investigate alleged incidents of deceptive advertising.

The tech industry in the U.S. will likely be rattled by Kahn’s addition to the FTC, a move that hints that the Biden White House is gearing up for regulatory action down the road. If officially appointed, she would become the youngest FTC commissioner ever at age 32, and among three Democratic commissioners at the agency. The FTC has faced criticism in the recent past for not being tough enough on Big Tech companies. 

Khan was an aide last year to the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee during the panel’s 16-month investigation into big tech. The panel authored a substantial report last year about Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Alphabet’s Google. She was also a fellow at the FTC, where she argued for the adoption of new rules with greater clarity regarding when companies were in breach of antitrust regulations. 

She is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she wrote a research paper that was considered pioneering. “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” outlined how the eCommerce giant’s pricing protocols were possibly in violation of competition regulations. 

Tim Wu, appointed as an economic advisor within the White House, was named special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy. He wrote several books on the topic of ineffective antitrust regulations in the U.S. and other major world economies. He is also credited with coming up with the term “net neutrality.”

Big Tech is expected to face tougher rules from the Biden White House at a time when FinTechs, Big Tech and mainstream financial institutions are becoming more indistinguishable.