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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

Jun 15, 2021 - Technology

Senate confirms antitrust expert Lina Khan as FTC commissioner

Lina Khan speaks at a Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee confirmation hearing. Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP/Bloomberg via Getty Images.

The Senate voted 69-28 on Tuesday to confirm antitrust expert Lina Khan as a commissioner on the Federal Trade Commission.

Why it matters: Known for her work on how to apply antitrust laws to the tech industry, Khan's confirmation marks a changing tide in federal government efforts to rein in Big Tech companies, Axios' Ashley Gold and Margaret Harding McGill report.

House antitrust bills take tight aim at tech giants

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The sweeping antitrust bills House lawmakers introduced Friday don't just propose broad new principles of digital-age competition — they put giant bullseyes on the backs of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple.

Why it matters: Laws crafted now to tie the hands of today's dominant companies will still be on the books for years and decades to come, and critics are already flagging possible unintended consequences.

2 wildfires ravage Northern California homes as thousands evacuate

Firefighters monitoring the scene as flames from the Dixie Fire jump across highway 89 near Greenville, California, on Tuesday. Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Two massive California wildfires have triggered new mandatory evacuation orders for thousands of people and destroyed homes and businesses in the state's north overnight.

Details: The Dixie Fire, California's biggest blaze, razed houses and businesses as it ripped through the town of Greenville and surrounding areas in Plumas County Wednesday night. The rapidly spreading River Fire burned "multiple" homes as it tore through Placer and Nevada counties, KOVR notes.