Lina Khan Is New Chair of the FTC

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

Lina Khan was sworn in as Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on June 15, 2021. President Biden named Khan, a Democrat, to a term on the Commission that expires September 25, 2024, and designated her as Chair. Khan was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on the same day.

Khan previously was an associate professor of law at Columbia Law School. She also served as counsel to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law, where she helped lead its investigation into digital markets; as legal adviser to FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra; and as legal director at the Open Markets Institute.

Khan joins two other Democrats on the Commission, Chopra and Rebecca Slaughter, and two Republicans, Noah Phillips and Christine Wilson. Chopra has been nominated to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, although the Senate Banking Committee deadlocked on his confirmation in March. Slaughter was the Acting Chair of the FTC prior to Khan being sworn in.

“It is a tremendous honor to have been selected by President Biden to lead the Federal Trade Commission,” Khan stated. “I look forward to working with my colleagues to protect the public from corporate abuse. I’m very grateful to Acting Chairwoman Slaughter for her outstanding stewardship of the Commission.”

Khan is 32 years old and the youngest Chair in FTC history. “She brings to the job what I would call the boldest vision for the agency in its history,” William Kovacic, a former chairman of the FTC, said to The New York Times about her approach to antitrust law. “So in that respect, she is a potentially transformative figure.”

Khan is also expected to pursue an aggressive enforcement policy for consumer protection, including advertising and marketing conduct.

“Congress created the FTC to safeguard fair competition and protect consumers, workers and honest businesses from unfair and deceptive practices,” Khan said on Twitter after her confirmation. “I look forward to upholding this mission with vigor and serving the American public.”

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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