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Critic of Amazon takes helm at FTC

Posted June. 17, 2021 07:15,   

Updated June. 18, 2021 11:52


A 32-year-old female legal scholar who is known as a critic of big tech companies has been appointed as the new chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) of the U.S. The U.S. government is expected to take swift actions against the monopolistic behaviors of IT giants, such as Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.

According to the New York Times and other U.S. media companies on Tuesday, U.S. President Joe Biden has appointed Lina Khan, a Columbia University law professor, as the new chair of the FTC. The Senate confirmed her nomination as a commissioner in a 69-28 bipartisan vote. A U.S. president can appoint one of the five commissioners of the FTC. The FTC, which is similar to South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission, is an agency monitoring companies’ illegal activities, such as violations of the antitrust laws.

Khan, a Pakistani immigrant and associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, is the youngest chair of the FTC. She garnered national attention in the U.S. with her 2017 paper titled “Amazon's Antitrust Paradox” while attending Yale Law School. The paper argues that decades-old antitrust laws cannot prevent monopolistic behaviors of giant companies like Amazon. She also practically declared war on big tech companies of the U.S., including Amazon, at her confirmation hearing by the Senate in April. “Once a company dominates a market, its power expands to adjacent markets,” said Kahn. “Regulatory authorities should closely monitor mergers and acquisitions among companies.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com