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Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: An Rong Xu/Washington Post via Getty Images

The White House has named Lina Khan as chair of the Federal Trade Commission, marking a major shift toward more aggressive enforcement aimed at the digital economy.

Driving the news: The Senate confirmed Khan to the FTC 69-28 on Tuesday. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) said during a Judiciary Committee hearing that Khan was to be named chair of the agency. A source familiar with the matter confirmed the White House's choice to Axios.

  • Khan does not need to go through additional Senate confirmation to take on the role of chair.
  • The FTC is currently being chaired by Democrat Rebecca Kelly Slaughter, a former aide for Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).

Why it matters: Khan, an antitrust expert well-known for her ideas for applying competition law to the tech industry, is sure to spook tech platforms.

  • Khan, 32 years old, is a hero to critics of tech who want to see the government act more aggressively against what they see as anti-competitive behavior from companies like Amazon, Google, Apple and Facebook.

Catch up quick: Khan was nominated to be a commissioner on the FTC by the Biden administration in March. She's an associate professor of law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches antitrust.

  • Formerly an adviser to the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust investigation of tech firms, Khan also worked for Democratic FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra.
  • Khan rose to prominence in 2017 when she wrote an article for Yale Law Journal titled, "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," arguing that Amazon's retail business should be separated from its selling platform.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Sep 17, 2021 - Politics & Policy

The line between business and politics has vanished

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

"Stop writing about politics. I signed up for a business newsletter." I get that message, sometimes a lot of them, when this space's eyes wander toward Washington, D.C.

Why it matters: Years ago, it might have been a valid critique. Today, though, the line between business and politics has all but vanished.

Updated 8 hours ago - World

UK government: Kremlin has plan "to install pro-Russian leadership" in Ukraine

British Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss. Photo: Gints Ivuskans / AFP via Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Foreign Secretary on Saturday night said the government has "information that indicates the Russian Government is looking to install a pro-Russian leader in Kyiv as it considers whether to invade and occupy Ukraine."

Driving the news: U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Emily Horne called the intelligence "deeply concerning" in a statement to Axios. The Biden administration has said Russia is actively manufacturing a pretext for invasion and warned that Putin could use joint military exercises in Belarus as cover to invade from the north.

Updated 9 hours ago - Science

This powerful new accelerator looks for keys to the center of atoms

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Nuclear physicists trying to piece together how atoms are built are about to get a powerful new tool.

Why it matters: When the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams begins experiments later this spring, physicists from around the world will use the particle accelerator to better understand the inner workings of atoms that make up all the matter that can be seen in the universe.