Jeff Bezos is a Republican

Even Jeff Bezos fears this whiz kid

The greatest threat currently facing Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Co. is likely to come from the 32-year-old whiz kid Lina Khan, who has now been nominated for an influential government post by US President Biden.

#By Dirk Jacquemien

28.4.2021

In highly polarized Washington, D.C. little right now that can bring Republicans and Democrats together. The 32-year-old Lina Khan is one of them. Born in London in 1989 to Pakistani parents, she moved to the USA with them at the age of 11.

US President Joe Biden has now nominated Khan as Commissioner of the FTC, which is responsible for compliance with competition law.

At Khan's Senate hearing last week, ultra-conservative Republican Ted Cruz said he was excited to work with her. Your confirmation for the FTC post by the entire Senate should therefore only be a formality. What unites Cruz and Khan? Your efforts to limit the power of the “big tech” companies.

Influential essay makes Khan a star in law

While still a student, Khan, who was completely unknown at the time, published an article in the renowned Yale Law Journal in 2017 with the title "Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox". The response from experts was overwhelming. Just a year later, the New York Times concluded that Khan had rewritten decades of competition law with a single essay.

The main premise of competition law has so far been the question of whether consumers are harmed by powerful companies. Amazon often offers the low prices, Facebook usage is even free, so everything is great for consumers, right? Current competition law is not equipped for companies like Amazon that are willing to accept losses over years or even decades in order to build market power by buying up competitors and dumping prices, so Khan's argument.

Amazon is like Standard Oil

Instead, it would be better to return to competition law, says Khan, which ruled at the beginning of the 20th century and ensured that monopoly companies like Standard Oil were broken up. For her critically acclaimed essay, she assumed a quote from Standard Oil founder John D. Rockefeller, who was known for his patience.

Standard Oils modern equivalents are companies like Amazon. Founder Jeff Bezos was also very patient. In its first seven years, Amazon was in the red. After that, the company hovered around the break-even point, with mostly modest profits. But in recent years profits have exploded, with an increase of $ 23 billion in 2020.

Khan had already shot herself last year when she was writing a report on the abuse of power by “big tech” companies for the US House of Representatives. Amazon said derogatory at the time that the report conveyed a “marginalized view” when it comes to competition law. But Khan's position is now firmly established in mainstream American politics and can be put into practice in the FTC. The future of Amazon and other big tech companies is likely to be much more turbulent thanks to Khan.


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