Biden nominates tech critic Lina Khan for FTC commissioner


US President Joe Biden has announced to nominate leading tech anti-trust activist Lina Khan for the commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

If confirmed, Khan, 32, from Columbia Law School would be one of three FTC Democratic commissioners (and the youngest ever) overseeing privacy, data security and antitrust.

That could include a decision on whether to bring an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, which the FTC has been investigating.

In 2017, Khan authored an article for the Yale Law Journal titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” that went viral.

Khan has also served as an aide to the House Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on antitrust throughout its years-long investigation into anticompetitive behavior in the tech industry, reports The Verge.

The nomination of Khan as new FTC chief comes at a time when regulators and lawmakers are scrutinizing Big Tech.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will grill Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday on misinformation plaguing their online platforms.

While still a law student at Yale, Khan cranked out a 96-page paper titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox”, published in the Yale Law Journal in January 2017.

Broadly, Khan’s argument is that the old antitrust framework needs an internet era fix. She makes the case that the consumer surplus argument alone isn’t enough or ever intelligent anymore.

Khan’s nomination follows the appointment of Tim Wu, a Columbia Law professor, to work on technology and competition policy at the National Economic Council.

Together, Wu and Khan embody an intellectual construct that has become the signature anthem of the progressive antitrust revival after Donald Trump’s election in 2016.