On June 15, the Senate swore in President Biden nominee Lina Khan as Chair of the FTC following confirmation by vote of 69-28. Her current term on the Commission will expire on September 25, 2024. Khan noted that she looks forward to working with her colleagues “to protect the public from corporate abuse.” In her role as Chair, Khan replaces former Acting Chair, Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, who served in the role since January 2021. Prior to becoming Chair of the Commission, Khan was an Associate Professor of Law at Columbia Law School. She also previously served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, legal adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, and legal director at the Open Markets Institute. Chopra, who is awaiting Senate confirmation as the Director of the CFPB, remarked in his official statement that the “overwhelming support in the Senate for Lina Khan’s nomination to serve on the [FTC] is a big win for fair competition in our country. There is a growing consensus that the FTC must turn the page on the failed policies spanning multiple administrations. Lina has an extraordinary record of achievement, and she will be instrumental in helping the Commission chart a new course grounded in rigor and reality.”
Putting it Into Practice: Khan has been a critic of the growing influence of big tech and online social media platforms, and is likely to pursue an aggressive consumer protection enforcement agenda with a focus in these areas. In line with public positions taken by former Commissioner Chopra, the new chair is also likely to steer the FTC towards alternative penalty authorities if Congress does not authorize the FTC to seek financial restitution in federal court, a power that the U.S. Supreme Court determined in April that the FTC did not have under current law (discussed in an earlier Finance and Bankruptcy Blog post here).