This week, Lina Khan was confirmed as a Democratic commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission in a 69-28 Senate vote. The White House subsequently confirmed that Khan would chair the agency. She will serve as the FTC’s youngest-ever commissioner and chair.
CPW previously covered Khan’s nomination, including her history as an antitrust scholar and critic of big tech. In addition to serving as legal counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, where she helped lead an investigation of competition in digital markets among large companies, she also previously served as a fellow in FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra’s office. She rose to prominence as an antitrust scholar with the publication of her 2017 paper “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.”
Khan’s appointment and elevation to chair signals the Biden administration’s support of a more progressive agenda for the agency that is likely to include aggressive antitrust measures. As chair, Khan will shape the agency’s agenda, including voting on whether to bring enforcement actions in areas of consumer protection and competition. Khan received bipartisan support during her confirmation hearing for increased regulation of big tech, as Congress has been working in tandem to bolster the FTC’s enforcement capabilities, including with the introduction of a package of antitrust bills last week.
Khan replaces acting chairwoman Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who will remain at the agency as a Democratic commissioner. President Biden has not yet named a third commissioner to succeed Rohit Chopra, who has been nominated to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.