Lina Khan, nominee for Commissioner of the Federal Commerce Fee (FTC), speaks throughout a Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation affirmation listening to on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, April 21, 2021.
Saul Loeb | Pool | Reuters
Amazon is urgent for the recusal of FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan from ongoing antitrust probes of the e-commerce large, citing her previous criticisms of the corporate’s energy.
In a 25-page movement filed Wednesday with the FTC, Amazon argued that Khan has made public feedback about Amazon and its conduct, together with that the corporate is “responsible of antitrust violations and ought to be damaged up,” suggesting she lacks impartiality in antitrust investigations into Amazon.
Amazon spokesperson Jack Evans informed CNBC in an announcement that Khan has made her views clear by means of earlier work with anti-monopoly group Open Markets Institute, regulation journal articles and her involvement within the Home Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust’s sweeping probe into huge tech firms.
“Amazon ought to be scrutinized together with all massive organizations. Nevertheless, even massive firms have the precise to an neutral investigation,” Evans mentioned. “Chair Khan’s physique of labor and public statements exhibit that she has prejudged the result of issues the FTC might study throughout her time period and, below established regulation, preclude her from taking part in such issues.”
An FTC spokesperson declined to remark, saying petitions and letters to the FTC usually are not public.
Earlier this month, Khan was sworn in as chair of the FTC. The shock transfer got here simply hours after she was confirmed by the Senate to function a commissioner.
Throughout her affirmation listening to earlier than the Senate, Khan informed Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, she has no monetary conflicts that may make her topic to recusal below ethics legal guidelines. She mentioned she would observe the proof the place it leads.
Khan made her first huge splash in antitrust circles along with her 2017 Yale Legislation Journal article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” The article, which she wrote whereas nonetheless a regulation pupil, argued that the favored antitrust framework targeted on client welfare, was insufficient to evaluate digital giants like Amazon.
The patron welfare customary typically appears to be like at whether or not costs go up or down for customers, however Khan advocated for a extra expansive view of antitrust enforcement that would keep in mind Amazon’s position as a platform on which its personal rivals rely. She mentioned it was additionally obligatory to know why a high-growth platform may interact in predatory pricing.
This story is growing. Examine again for updates.