Biden names Pakistani origin woman to federal trade commission 

By: News Desk      Published: 08:42 PM, 23 Mar, 2021
Biden names Pakistani origin woman to federal trade commission 
Federal Trade Commission.–File photo

President Joe Biden on Monday announced plans to nominate Columbia law professor Lina Khan for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, paving the way for a prominent critic of large technology companies to help lead U.S. enforcement of antitrust law. 

According to Forbes, Khan is well known for the 2017 paper “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” which lays out what she views as anti-competitive tactics of the e-commerce giant and failures by the U.S. government to address them.

Before her position as an antitrust and competition professor at Columbia, Khan worked as a staffer on a bipartisan House committee as it investigated monopoly behaviour by Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google last year. Khan also served as an adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra.

KEY BACKGROUND

The nomination comes as efforts to increase scrutiny and regulation of Silicon Valley gain momentum in Washington. As the 16-month investigation into technology companies concluded in October, Khan and other House Judiciary Committee members and staffers said in a paper that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google had abused their power to push out smaller competitors. “To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the paper said.

CHIEF CRITIC

Sen. Mike Lee, (R., Utah), called Khan’s nomination “deeply concerning” this month. “Ms. Khan no doubt has a promising career ahead of her, but being less than four years out of law school, she lacks the experience necessary for such an important role as FTC Commissioner,” Lee said. “Her views on antitrust enforcement are also wildly out of step with a prudent approach to the law.” 

Lina Khan was born to her Pakistani parents in London. Her parents moved to the United States when she was 11.