Senate Advances Lina Khan, Noted Big Tech Critic, To Lead The FTC

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The Senate overwhelmingly advanced the nomination of Lina Khan, a professor at Columbia Law School and a critic of Big Tech, to lead the Federal Trade Commission Monday.

Khan, 32, was nominated by President Joe Biden to lead the FTC, and also previously served as a staffer for the House’s Antitrust Subcommittee. Monday’s vote sets her up to be confirmed in the coming days, meaning that the commission could be led by someone who has previously called for changes to anti-trust law and has advocated for increased regulation over large tech companies.

Her nomination advanced 72 to 25.

If confirmed, Lina Khan would be one of multiple Big Tech hawks in the Biden administration. (GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Khan’s stance on Big Tech has won her support from the left and right, despite her progressive views overall.

“I haven’t gotten the chance to talk with her much yet, but I will stay this. I’m impressed with her. I’m impressed with her background,” Missouri Republican Sen. Josh Hawley told The Washington Post in May. “I’m impressed with her work in this area. I think she’s thought very seriously about monopoly problems. I think that her record, her track record, demonstrates that, and I think the kind of voice that she has brought in these issues is a really important one.” (RELATED: Senate Democrats Eye Big Tech Regulation Under Biden)

“I look forward to working with you, and I think there’s a lot more the commission can do in terms of ensuring transparency from Big Tech, which right now is incredibly opaque,” Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz told Khan during her confirmation hearing in April.

Biden first nominated Khan in January, as anti-tech sentiment spread on both sides of the aisle. During her confirmation hearing, she said that “everything needs to be on the table” when it comes to the press’ concerns over censorship on Facebook and Google, noting that their algorithms can easily sink readership for any publisher, and expressed concern over exclusively digital advertising markets. (RELATED: Biden Appoints Professor Who Called For Breaking Up Big Tech To National Economic Council)

As a student at Yale Law School in 2017, she published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the school’s journal, examining how consumer standards applied to digital markets could miss critical anticompetitive behavior taking place.

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