FTC Chair Lina Khan Defends her Record of Rejecting Mergers and Does not Subscribe to Amazon Prime

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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan defended the agency’s approach to blocking mergers, expressing satisfaction with its efforts under her leadership despite some high-profile losses. Khan, speaking at The New York Times DealBook Summit, emphasized the importance of taking significant actions and acknowledged the goal of winning cases while learning from losses. Under her tenure, the FTC filed 11 merger cases, with companies abandoning plans in five instances after the agency’s intervention. Khan acknowledged the desire to win the two cases lost but overall expressed contentment with the agency’s efforts.

Khan is currently involved in a high-profile antitrust case against Amazon, where the FTC and 17 states accused the retail giant of leveraging its “monopoly power” to manipulate prices, degrade quality, and stifle competition. This case is considered a potential career-defining moment for Khan, known for her influential 2017 Yale Law Journal article, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox.” In the article, she argued that the prevailing antitrust framework failed to capture the dominance of tech giants like Amazon in the digital world.

The FTC’s lawsuit against Amazon includes allegations related to the Prime service, asserting that the company misled users and complicated the cancellation process intentionally. Amazon has refuted both lawsuits, stating they are “wrong on the facts and the law.” In the interview, Khan revealed that she does not subscribe to Amazon Prime, and when asked why, she simply stated, “I just haven’t.” The FTC, under Khan’s leadership, continues to address antitrust issues, and while some cases have faced setbacks, she remains committed to the agency’s efforts to scrutinize and regulate mergers and anticompetitive practices.

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