Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Antitrust expert Lina Khan at her home in Larchmont, New York on July 7, 2017.

Antitrust expert Lina Khan at her home in Larchmont, New York on July 7, 2017. (Photo: An Rong Xu for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Applause as Biden Picks 'Antitrust Trailblazer' Lina Khan for FTC Spot

"She is a thought leader and the embodiment of the modern antitrust movement. Big move."

Jake Johnson

Opponents of the decades-long trend of corporate consolidation applauded President Joe Biden's reported decision to nominate Columbia Law School professor and "antitrust trailblazer" Lina Khan to a seat on the five-member Federal Trade Commission, a key regulatory agency tasked with protecting consumers from business abuses.

First reported by Politico Tuesday morning, Biden's selection of Khan for the FTC slot comes days after the president named Tim Wu—another leading monopoly critic who coined the term "net neutrality"—to a spot on the National Economic Council, a position that does not require Senate confirmation.

"Lina Khan going to the FTC and Tim Wu going to the White House are two extraordinary, powerful choices by Biden," said Zephyr Teachout, an associate professor of law at Fordham University. "Lina is brilliant, kind, careful, and original, with nerves of steel. I am so happy for our country."

"One last thing to highlight: antitrust is not just about Big Tech," Teachout added. "It's ag[riculture] and hospitals. It's about democratic/economic policy broadly. About how private power is dispersed or centralized. Khan and Wu are not 'tech critics,' they are visionary anti-monopolists across the board."

Prior to serving as counsel to the House Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law during its year and a half-long investigation of the digital marketplace, Khan rose to prominence as a critic of corporate concentration following the 2017 publication of her paper titled "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," which criticized the failure of current antitrust law to restrain the tech behemoth's anti-competitive practices.

In a 2018 profile, the New York Times characterized Khan's article—published when she was a student at Yale University—as a challenge to "decades of monopoly law."

"We applaud President Biden for recognizing that Lina Khan is a once-in-a-generation legal mind," Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, said in a statement Tuesday.

"Professor Khan is the intellectual architect of the bipartisan suits against Facebook and Google," Miller continued. "She has exposed the dangerous concentration of power in the meat industry. She's identified key national security concerns posed by our concentrated supply chains. And she has written thoughtfully about all of the tools the government should bring to bear to advance the interests of working people, smaller businesses, and local communities."

Politico noted Tuesday morning that Biden's decision to elevate Khan and Wu to prominent government positions "represents a massive shift in philosophy away from the era of Barack Obama, who proudly forged an alliance between the Democratic Party and Big Tech."

Joining the chorus of applause, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee (PCCC) said Tuesday that "there is no possible better pick for FTC than Lina Khan."

"She is a thought leader and the embodiment of the modern antitrust movement," the group added. "Big move."

Justice Democrats, a progressive advocacy organization, offered similar praise for Biden's decision to nominate Khan, which has not yet been formally announced.

"This is a major progressive pick by the Biden administration to check the concentration of corporate power and uplift working families," the group tweeted.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'Political Malpractice': House Democrats' Bill Wouldn't Add Dental to Medicare Until 2028

"I don't want to see it drawn out to as far as the House has proposed," Sen. Bernie Sanders said during a recent press call.

Jake Johnson ·


'How Many More Deaths Must It Take?' Barbados Leader Rips Rich Nations in Fierce UN Speech

"How many more variants of Covid-19 must arrive, how many more, before a worldwide plan for vaccinations will be implemented?"

Jake Johnson ·


To Avert Debt Ceiling Calamity, Democrats Urged to Finally Kill the Filibuster

"The solution is to blow up the filibuster at least for debt limit votes, just as Mitch blew it up to pack the Supreme Court for his big donors."

Jake Johnson ·


Biden Decries 'Outrageous' Treatment of Haitians at Border—But Keeps Deporting Them

"I'm glad to see President Biden speak out about the mistreatment of Haitian asylum-seekers. But his administration's use of Title 42 to deny them the right to make an asylum claim is a much bigger issue."

Jessica Corbett ·


Global Peace Activists Warn of Dangers of US-Led Anti-China Pacts

"No to military alliances and preparation for catastrophic wars," anti-war campaigners from over a dozen nations write in a letter decrying the new AUKUS agreement. "Yes to peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate."

Brett Wilkins ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo