Big Tech critic Lina Khan named chair of the FTC

Lina Khan, a prominent critic of Big Tech, has been named chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a White House spokesperson confirmed Tuesday.

The update comes just hours after the Senate voted to confirm the 32-year-old to the agency in a 69-28 vote.

The designation as chair will give Khan greater authority at the FTC, at a time when the agency is pursuing an antitrust case against Facebook and as lawmakers look to revamp laws to give the agency greater authority to rein in the market power of tech giants.

Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee Chair Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) announced Khan was named chair during a hearing on competition and innovation in home device technology.

“An interesting development from an antitrust standpoint,” Klobuchar said.

Bipartisan backing: Although progressives rallied behind boosting Khan for the spot, she has also earned support from some Republicans. The Senate voted 72-25 Monday night to end debate on her nomination.

Notably, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley (Mo.), a leading GOP Big Tech critic, voted in favor of Khan’s nomination. Hawley has proposed his own bill that would revamp antitrust laws, with a target on the tech giants.

Her confirmation to the FTC comes as lawmakers are pushing forward with proposals that seek to rein in the power of the top tech companies.

But despite the bipartisan vote, the confirmation is facing pushback from within the tech industry.