President Joe Biden appointed Columbia law professor Tim Wu, who has previously called for breaking up Big Tech, to a position on the National Economic Council, the White House announced Friday.
Wu is a leading progressive critic of tech giants and proponent of stronger antitrust enforcement, according to The Wall Street Journal. He will join the National Economic Council as a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy, the White House said in a statement Friday.
Happy to say I’m joining the Biden White House to work on Technology and Competition Policy at the National Economic Council. Putting this twitter feed on hold for now — so long!
— Tim Wu (@superwuster) March 5, 2021
Wu advocated for breaking up Big Tech companies in his 2018 book “The Curse of Bigness.” He proposed breaking up Facebook in particular during an appearance at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2019. He also praised the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Google last year for alleged anti-competitive behavior, according to The Wall Street Journal. (RELATED: The Power Of Facebook Can Be Summed Up In One Swift Action Against A Whole Country)
“The simple premise of anti-monopoly revival is that concentrated private power has become a menace, a barrier to widespread prosperity,” he wrote in a blog post in 2019.
Wu previously served as a senior advisor at the Federal Trade Commission and an advisor on economic competition issues at the National Economic Council during the Obama administration, according to the White House.
He is also credited with popularizing the term “net neutrality,” the legal principle that internet service providers should treat all traffic on their networks equally. Net neutrality rules were first established during the Obama administration but repealed under former President Donald Trump.
The appointment suggests the Biden administration may consider moving forward on stronger antitrust enforcement. The president has previously criticized Big Tech companies over online misinformation.
Progressives lawmakers such as Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren have called to break up Big Tech companies as well, NBC News reported. Others like California Rep. Ro Khanna introduced legislation last year to hold companies accountable for tech abuses and online misinformation.
Biden has yet to announce nominees for key antitrust positions, including FTC chair and head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, according to The Wall Street Journal.