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Amazon Is Very Scared Of the New FTC Chair

Amazon has filed a motion with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, requesting that its new Chair, Lina Khan, take no part in any antitrust suits filed against the media giant.

Lina Khan was recently sworn in as chairwoman, and has been an outspoken advocate of widening the antitrust laws in the wake of Amazon’s dominance.

In a paper for the Yale Law Journal, she argued “the current framework in antitrust—specifically its pegging competition to ‘consumer welfare,’ defined as short-term price effects—is unequipped to capture the architecture of market power in the modern economy.

“We cannot cognise the potential harms to competition posed by Amazon’s dominance if we measure competition primarily through price and output. Specifically, current doctrine underappreciates the risk of predatory pricing and how integration across distinct business lines may prove anticompetitive.”

In other words, she is gunning for the company, which is why Amazon want her removed from proceedings.

“She has on numerous occasions argued that Amazon is guilty of antitrust violations and should be broken up,” the company wrote in the filing.

“These statements convey to any reasonable observer the clear impression that she has already made up her mind about many material facts relevant to Amazon’s antitrust culpability as well as about the ultimate issue of culpability itself.”

Elsewhere, Amazon argues Khan’s “academic and professional career” was built upon her declarations that the company flouts the antitrust laws.

“In the absence of recusal, she will be directly involved in, and will exercise direct supervisory authority over, virtually all aspects of any investigation of Amazon as well as any prosecutorial or adjudicatory decisions relating to the company.”

 

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