"The surprise move elevating Khan to one of the most powerful regulatory positions in Washington was announced by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at the start of a hearing on Tuesday. It came shortly after the Senate confirmed Khan as a commissioner in a 69-28 vote.
Democrats will now have a majority on the five-member commission, which Khan likely will steer toward more aggressive examination of tech companies' alleged abuse of monopoly power.
Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said Khan leading the FTC is "tremendous news," saying in a statement that "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."
The rapid rise of Khan, 32, a Columbia Law School associate professor, followed a 2017 scholarly paper entitled "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox" that she wrote as a law student at Yale University. The paper went viral in some influential circles and led some to call her the leader of the progressive movement known as "hipster antitrust."
She argued that the unmatched dominance of tech titans like Amazon shows that U.S. antitrust laws are broken and that regulations need to be rewritten to curb abuses of power.
Since the late-1970s, courts have largely interpreted U.S. antitrust law to mean that if prices are lower for consumers, then markets are working as intended. But Khan said that view is out of step with the modern economy. She argued that tech companies have used predatory tactics to kick competitors out of the game, which she says should be seen as illegal under fair competition laws.
"She challenged an orthodoxy with others, built a new community, that has changed the debate," said Bill Kovacic, a former chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
In recent months, Khan helped write a sweeping 449-page report for House Democrats that outlined the case for paring back the power of Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google. House lawmakers last week introduced five bills to greatly regulate, and perhaps even break up some of the companies."
Damn that liberal-hating Joe Biden!