With the Alvaro Bedoya appointment swinging the majority back in her favor at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), FTC Chair Lina Khan is looking to push off early setbacks and now utilize every tool at the commission’s disposal to protect consumers from anticompetitive behavior and deceptive practices. While enforcement has already been taken to new levels since Khan took over at the FTC, this could signal even more regulatory action in the near future. According to an article from The Washington Post:
“When Lina Khan took over the helm of the Federal Trade Commission last year, it was with sky-high expectations that her tenure would quickly usher in a transformative era of accountability for Silicon Valley. Despite a slew of early setbacks, she says she’s bullish about the path ahead.
“It’s fair to say that the best is yet to come,” Khan said in her first interview with The Washington Post since taking office. “We have an incredibly active agenda and a whole set of really major initiatives that I think will come to fruition over this next year.”
Khan’s ambitions have been blunted by a months-long partisan stalemate at the agency preventing her from moving forward with some of her most significant plans to crack down on data privacy abuses and anticompetitive behavior. Despite Khan’s repeated calls for more resources, bills that would supercharge the 107-year-old agency to counter the tech giants’ deep pockets have largely stalled.
Internal dissension over Khan’s efforts to shake up the status quo has spilled into public view, with an annual government survey showing sinking morale within the agency and Republican Commissioner Christine Wilson criticizing Khan at major conferences.
Alvaro Bedoya’s May confirmation restored Khan’s Democratic majority, and she emphasized that she plans to address the rapid expansion of tech giants into new lines of business, such as virtual reality. Yet the clock is already for ticking for Khan, especially as President Biden’s approval ratings sink and Republicans appear poised to regain power in Congress — and more oversight of the FTC — in the midterm elections.
She said she wants the agency “to use all of the tools in our toolbox,” especially those that she sayshave been underutilized in the past — like crafting regulations to combat anticompetitive behavior and deceptive practices. Yet such efforts will face procedural hurdles that could consume months or even years.”