Technology Mar 23

Biden names top critic of Big Tech to important antitrust position

Lina Khan, a Columbia University law professor, wrote a 2017 paper called Amazon's Antitrust Paradox, which outlined the growing dominance of the e-commerce giant

Biden names top critic of Big Tech to important antitrust position
Lina Khan formerly worked at the Federal Trade Commission and was legal director at the Open Markets Institute, a think tank which has been highly critical of the Silicon Valley giants. File photo by Reuters.

(ATF) The US moved a step closer to reining in Big Tech companies on March 22 with the nomination of another prominent critic for a key regulatory post.

President Joe Biden named academic Lina Khan – who advocates breaking up the largest technology conglomerates – to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which has authority over some mergers and antitrust policy.

Khan previously served as counsel to the US House of Representatives' subcommittee on antitrust, which last year released a lengthy report suggesting grounds for breaking up giants such as Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple.

She is an associate professor at Columbia University's law school.

Khan wrote a 2017 paper, Amazon's Antitrust Paradox, which outlined the growing dominance of the e-commerce and tech giant.

She formerly worked with FTC member Rohit Chopra and was legal director at the Open Markets Institute, a think tank which has been highly critical of the Silicon Valley giants.

ECONOMIC ADVISER

The move follows the naming of Tim Wu, another Big Tech critic, as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy. Wu wrote The Curse of Bigness, The Master Switch and The Attention Merchants, all critical of Big Tech companies.

He is best known for coining the phrase “net neutrality” in 2002 to describe rules guaranteeing equal access to the internet.

Wu also coined the dictum: “When an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product.”

He has repeatedly likened Big Tech to the 19th century robber barons who built US railways.

Wu previously worked for the FTC, New York state attorney-general, Federal Trade Commission, National Economic Council, and as law clerk to a Supreme Court justice.

With reporting by Agence France-Presse

ALSO SEE:

Regulators turn on big US tech groups with antitrust and privacy actions

US FTC order lumps TikTok in with Amazon, Facebook and Google

Facebook faces major lawsuits over Instagram, WhatsApp

regulation antitrust US Federal Trade Commission Joe Biden Amazon