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Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina

Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina:

Lina Khan, one of Silicon Valley’s most vocal critics, has been named chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission by President Joe Biden. Khan is one of the most well-known critics of Silicon Valley.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., announced at the start of a hearing on Tuesday that Khan would be given one of the most powerful regulatory jobs in Washington. This was a big surprise. It happened soon after Khan was made a commissioner by a vote of 69 to 28 in the Senate.

Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina

Now that there are more Democrats than Republicans on the five-person commission, Khan is likely to push for a more in-depth look at how tech companies may have abused their monopoly power.

Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, said that Khan leading the FTC is “great news.” She said in a statement that “giant tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon deserve the increased scrutiny they are getting” and that “consolidation is choking off competition across American industries.”

Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina
Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina

Even though Khan got votes from both Democrats and Republicans, some Republicans, like Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, are angry with him. He has said Khan “lacks the experience needed” for the FTC and that her views on U.S. antitrust laws are “wildly out of step with a sensible approach to the law.”

Khan, who is 32 and an associate professor at Columbia Law School, got a lot of attention after she wrote a paper in 2017 called “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” while she was a law student at Yale. Some important people shared the paper widely, which led some to call her the leader of the “hipster antitrust” movement. She said that the fact that tech giants like Amazon are so powerful shows that U.S. antitrust laws are broken and that rules need to be changed to stop power abuses.

Since the late 1970s, courts have mostly taken U.S. antitrust law to mean that markets are working as they should if prices are lower for consumers. But Khan said that point of view is not in line with how the economy works today. She said that tech companies have used unfair methods to get rid of competitors, which should be against the law because of fair competition laws.

Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina
Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina

Bill Kovacic, who used to be the head of the Federal Trade Commission, said, “She challenged a common belief with others and built a new community.” “This has changed the debate.”

Khan helped write a 449-page report for the House Democrats that explained why they should limit the power of Apple, Amazon, Facebook, and Google. This report was written in the past few months. Last week, five bills were introduced in the House that would put a lot more rules on companies and maybe even break up some of them.

Khan is the latest critic of Big Tech that President Biden has asked to go up against the industry. Tim Wu is a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy on the National Economic Council at the White House. He also wants the government to keep a closer eye on the tech industry.

Biden has been criticized, though, for not moving quickly enough to fill other important antitrust enforcement positions in his administration. Biden hasn’t said who he wants to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division or fill a vacant seat on the Federal Communications Commission. This is almost halfway through his first year in office.

Even so, Khan’s confirmation on Tuesday was praised by groups like the American Economic Liberties Project in Washington that want competition laws to be enforced more.

Sarah Miller, the head of the group, said that the fact that Khan was able to get support from both parties shows that policymakers are “hungry to rein in Big Tech.”

Miller said, “Her appointment to the FTC marks the beginning of the end of an era of lawlessness that big companies have enjoyed at the expense of workers, small businesses, and democracy.”

Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina
Confirms commissioner progressive tech critic lina

Khan’s leadership, however, according to the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, could harm American consumers and innovation.

“Consumers may no longer be able to take advantage of the economies of scale that big companies have,” said Aurelien Portuese of the group. “At a time when global competition is getting stronger, antitrust populism will cause long-term damage that will help less talented competitors from other countries.”

The former head of the FTC, Kovacic, said that some of the pushback from the tech industry is due to pure shock over Khan’s rise.

“They had no idea this would happen,” Kovacic said. “I’m guessing that the level of worry in that community has gone up a lot in the last 24 hours.


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