Lina Khan, Critic of Large Tech Firms, to Lead Federal Trade Commission

Brent Kendall

The Senate confirmed Lina Khan for a seat on the Federal Trade Commission, and the White House plans to tap her to lead the agency, a post that will allow her to pursue aggressive enforcement of U.S. antitrust and consumer-protection laws.

Ms. Khan, a 32-year-old Columbia University law professor who has been a vocal critic of powerful technology companies, was confirmed on a 69-28 vote Tuesday. With her confirmation secured, President Biden now will designate her as FTC chairwoman, according to a person familiar with the decision, a move that caps the ascendancy of a progressive camp that favors far-reaching changes to antitrust enforcement.

Ms. Khan has been the leader of that movement, which believes the current decadeslong approach has done too little to restrain corporate dominance and stop mergers that have eroded competition. She has argued in favor of blocking more mergers, aggressively attacking monopolistic practices and potentially breaking up some of America’s largest companies.

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