Many New FTC Gives Lina Khan A Chance To Push A Strong Agenda

WASHINGTON – The confirmation of the third Democrat by the Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday broke ideological tensions in the agency. That is good news for Lina Khan, the agency’s chairman and democrat.

It is also a test.

Along with the new FTC majority party in the Democratic Party – which came with the approval of Alvaro Bedoya, who is now the fifth commissioner, in a position that has been vacant since October – allies and critics of Ms. Khan is watching to see if he pushes forward plans to address organizations. power. That could include filing a lawsuit against Amazon’s credentials, setting up online privacy laws and touching the authority of the less widely used agency to cut off company wings such as Meta, Apple and Google.

With Parliament remaining closed and mid-term elections approaching, organizations such as the FTC and the Justice Department are likely to remain the only hope for activists and policymakers who want the government to restrict the organization’s powers. President Biden, who has pledged to crack down, last year ordered the FTC and other federal agencies to take drastic measures.

Under Ms. Khan, 33, who became chairman in June, the FTC has already tried to shut down connections by threatening to oppose contracts after they were closed. The commission has said it will punish companies that make it difficult for consumers to manufacture their products. And it solved a case with a company known as Weight Watchers over a nutrition program that collected data from young children.

But the new majority of Ms. Democratic Khan is key to “a broader fulfillment of his vision,” said William E. Kovacic, former FTC chairman. “And the clock is ticking.”

In a statement, Ms Khan said she was “delighted” to work with Mr. Bedoya and other commissioners. He did not address how many of the new FTC would affect his plans.

The initial FTC split between the two Republicans and the two Democrats led to a misunderstanding. In February, the commission was unable to reach an agreement to continue researching the practices of pharmaceutical benefit managers.

Sarah Miller, executive director of the U.S. Economic Freedom Project, a progressive group seeking more anti-corruption action, described the two FTC Republicans, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson, as “independent” who “braked” on Ms. Khan’s ability to advance his agenda.

Bw. Phillips said in an email that he supports “the long-standing tradition of a two-way commission to promote the interests of American consumers.” But he will not support the agenda of Ms. When Khan “violates our legal authority,” it raises prices for consumers or harms innovation, he said.

Ms. Wilson hinted at three speeches she gave last year criticizing Ms. Philosophy. In a speech last month, Ms. Wilson said Ms. Khan and his allies were drawing faith from Marxism.

New York Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democratic majority majority leader, said Wednesday’s vote confirmed Mr. Bedoya was “necessary to get rid of FTC”

Now Mrs. Khan may gain the ability to pursue a legal case against Amazon. He wrote a copy of the student law audit in 2017 criticizing the company’s administration. The FTC began investigating a major retail company under the Trump administration; some state attorneys general have also conducted an investigation into the company.

Bi. Khan could file a lawsuit against Amazon’s recent purchase of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movie studio. When the $ 8.5 billion transaction closed in March, an FTC spokesman noted that the agency “could violate the agreement at any time if it decides it violates the law.”

Bi. Khan can put his seal on other contracts. The agency is investigating Microsoft’s $ 70 billion acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard and sending a request to companies this year for more information.

The main order from Mr. Biden last year urging more stringent and unreliable policies pushed the FTC and the Justice Department to update the guidelines they use to approve agreements, which could lead to more rigorous investigations. Bi. Khan may need the support of the other two Democrats of the commission, Mr. Bedoya and Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, to approve new strict guidelines or to oppose major connections.

Bi. Khan also said he wanted to increase the agency’s authority by adhering to the rules governing privacy and how algorithms make decisions. He argued that the FTC was abusing its role as a lawmaker and that the regulations would increase its authority to protect consumers.

“Given that our economy will only continue to keep digital, the rules of the whole market can help provide clear notifications and provide implementation to be more effective and efficient,” he said last month at a private meeting.

The FTC may also process applications from groups of progressive activists who want an agency to ban data-driven advertising business structures and to ban non-competitive contracts that prevent employees from taking work with their current employer’s competitor.

But former FTC officials said Ms. Khan faced challenges, even with many Democratic people. The development of privacy regulations could take years, said Daniel Kaufman, the former deputy head of the agency’s consumer protection office. Businesses may challenge laws in court that do not comply with FTC’s mandate to protect consumers against fraudulent and unfair practices.

“The FTC’s ability to legislate is not designed to address behavioral advertising so I have been telling my clients’ agents can set up an issue with the media but it is unclear where it will go,” he said. Kaufman, a partner in the organization. law firm BakerHostetler, it said.

Ms. Khan’s efforts will also certainly continue to face opposition from Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Wilson. Bw. Phillips has said he has reservations with the agency as being the most muscular regulator. In January, he said Congress, not the FTC, should be the one to create new privacy laws.

Bi. Wilson recently posted screenshots of an internal investigation showing that the satisfaction of FTC staff has diminished. “The new leadership has isolated and demeaned the staff, causing a brain disorder that will take the generation to fix,” he said.

To overcome their opposition, Ms. Khan will have to keep his quantity straight. That gives Mr. Bedoya, a privacy specialist who has highlighted the civil rights risks of the new technology, and Ms. Slaughter, former senior staff member of Senator Schumer.

Bi. Slaughter said in a statement that the privacy expertise of Mr. Bedoya will help the FTC better. He did not comment on the Democratic Party’s majority.

Bw. Bedoya did not say anything about his own plans, saying only that he was “excited” to work with his new FTC colleagues.

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