Big Tech critic and antitrust hawk Tim Wu announced Friday he is joining the Biden administration to work on technology and competition policy on the National Economic Council.
The hire signals the White House is serious about competition policy and will likely be viewed favorably among progressives hoping to see greater enforcement of antitrust laws, especially against tech giants like Amazon and Facebook. Wu’s writing has played a major role in advancing the idea that major tech companies should be broken up to reinvigorate competition, particularly through his 2018 book, “The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age.”
Wu has helped shape some of the most important debates around technology in the past decade. He coined the term “net neutrality” to describe the idea that internet service providers shouldn’t discriminate between different types of communication online. Under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission established a net neutrality rule, but it was reversed by the Trump FCC. However, the agency under President Joe Biden could resurrect the rule.
Wu recently taught antitrust law at Columbia University and worked at the New York attorney general’s office, the Federal Trade Commission and on the NEC under President Barack Obama.
Biden has yet to fill out the top antitrust enforcement roles in his administration, however. His picks for the FTC and Department of Justice Antitrust Division will either solidify the idea that he is ready to crack down on Big Tech, or undermine it. Reports on Biden’s potential picks for those roles have run the gamut from progressives aligned with Wu’s views to those who have gone on to work for or counsel the tech companies themselves. Critics fear the latter would be too lenient on Big Tech.
Tim Wu Joins Biden Administration To Work On Competition Policy.
March 5, 2021