The Senate confirmed Columbia Law professor Lina Khan to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in a 69 to 28 vote on Tuesday before she was named chair of the body by President Joe Biden.
Khan has been a fierce critic of Amazon and other tech giants dominating multiple markets. She will now take over an agency investigating or suing multiple major tech companies including Facebook, Apple, and Google.
Khan said on Twitter that the FTC was created “to safeguard fair competition and protect consumers, workers, and honest businesses from unfair and deceptive practices.”
She was nominated by Biden in March after a career in academia and government, previously serving as a counsel to the US House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law and legal advisor to the office of FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra.
Senator Elizabeth Warren said in a statement that Khan “brings deep knowledge and expertise to this role and will be a fearless champion for consumers.”
“Giant tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon deserve the growing scrutiny they are facing, and consolidation is choking off competition across American industries,” Warren added. “With Chair Khan at the helm, we have a huge opportunity to make big, structural change by reviving antitrust enforcement and fighting monopolies that threaten our economy, our society, and our democracy.”
The 32-year-old Yale graduate has spent years writing about how antitrust law needs to be applied in the tech industry. As a member of the team that conducted the House Judiciary subcommittee on the antitrust investigation into Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, she helped put together the report that said each is a monopoly. According to CNBC, Khan was personally involved in the section of the report that focused on Google, which is facing multiple antitrust lawsuits.
Khan will now become the youngest person to lead the commission, which has been led by acting chair Rebecca Kelly Slaughter since Biden took office. Biden has one more seat to fill on the five-person commission.
“We need all hands on deck as we take on some of the biggest monopolies in the world,” Senator Amy Klobuchar said in a statement. “Lina Khan’s deep understanding of competition policy will be vital as we strengthen antitrust enforcement, and I look forward to working with her at the FTC as we advance efforts to protect consumers.”