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Venture capitalist Peter Thiel is in charge of the search for officials to be the nation's new competition regulators, according to BuzzFeed News' Will Alden and Hamza Shaban. They cited an earlier report from Global Competition Report in addition to their own sources. They echo two names that have emerged as consensus contenders to chair the FTC:

  • Joshua Wright, a former commissioner who has been involved with Trump's transition and is close to Google. BuzzFeed News reports that his selection is "unlikely."
  • Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes, who previously said the FTC should consider reopening a probe into the search giant.

The key question: Will the new permanent FTC chair and the top antitrust official at the Justice Department agree with President Trump, who has called for aggressive antitrust enforcement in some cases?

And then there's this: Thiel actually doesn't have a big problem with a company dominating the competition. "All happy companies are different: Each one earns a monopoly by solving a unique problem," he wrote in 2014. "All failed companies are the same: They failed to escape competition."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
12 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's inauguration signals a great American reset

President Biden prepares to walk the abbreviated parade route in front of the White House after the inauguration. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

President Biden had exited his Cadillac with the new "46" license plates and was strolling a short stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue toward his new home when he spotted "Today" show weather legend Al Roker.

The big picture: Biden dropped Jill Biden's hand — no warning — and trotted over to the delighted Roker. POTUS gave Roker a fist bump and said, "Gotta keep doing this!" It was a very Joe moment in a day that was designed to signal a return to normality in a turbulent America.

Chuck Schumer is now majority leader as 3 new Democratic senators are sworn in

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is officially Senate majority leader after the inauguration of Vice President Kamala Harris and the swearing-in of new Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jon Ossoff (D-Ga.) and Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.).

Why it matters: With a 50-50 Senate, Schumer will control a narrow majority with Harris as the tie-breaking vote. Democratic control of the Senate is crucial to President Biden's agenda, from getting his coronavirus relief proposal passed to forgiving student debt.

1 hour ago - Technology

QAnon faces the music

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Supporters of former President Donald Trump who thought he was about to stop the inauguration, seize power and crush his enemies were left blinking in the sunlight Wednesday as President Biden took the oath of office.

Why it matters: It's an inflection point for anyone who realizes they've been strung along by QAnon and related strands of pro-Trump magical thinking. They could either retreat from conspiracy theories or tumble deeper down the rabbit hole.