Lina Khan was sworn in today as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission. President Biden named Khan, a Democrat, to a term on the Commission that expires September 25, 2024, and designated her as Chair. Khan was confirmed by the US Senate on June 15, 2021.
“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected by President Biden to lead the Federal Trade Commission,” said Chair Khan. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to protect the public from corporate abuse. I’m very grateful to Acting Chairwoman Slaughter for her outstanding stewardship of the Commission.”
Prior to becoming Chair of the FTC, Khan was an Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She also previously served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, legal adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, and legal director at the Open Markets Institute.
In her new role, Ms. Khan will lead efforts to regulate the kind of behavior highlighted for years by critics of Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple. She told a Senate committee in April that she was worried about the way tech companies could use their power to dominate new markets. The agency is investigating Amazon, which Ms. Khan has been highly critical of, and filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook last year.
Khan became a well-known figure in antitrust circles after writing “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” for the Yale Law Review in 2017, while a student at the university. The paper made the case for using a different framework for evaluating competitive harm than the popular consumer welfare standard. That standard essentially says that antitrust law violations can be determined based on harm to consumers, which is often measured based on prices.
In the years since, Khan has become a recognized name among those in the field and a noted figure among progressives eager to see more expansive enforcement of antitrust laws. She participated in the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust investigation into Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google, helping to compile the report from Democratic staff that found each held monopoly power.
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