FTC Chair Lina Khan Defends Antitrust Actions, Reveals Non-Subscription to Amazon Prime

Khan Addresses Merger Challenges and Amazon Antitrust Case While Sharing Personal Stance on Amazon’s Prime Service

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Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan defended the agency’s approach to blocking mergers, emphasizing a willingness to take significant actions. Speaking at The New York Times DealBook Summit, Khan expressed satisfaction with the FTC’s efforts under her leadership, despite notable losses in high-profile cases such as Meta’s acquisition of Within Unlimited and Microsoft’s purchase of Activision Blizzard.

Khan highlighted that the FTC, during her tenure, pursued 11 merger-related cases, resulting in five instances where companies abandoned their plans after the agency filed suits. Additionally, 14 deals were dropped during the FTC’s investigations. While acknowledging losses in specific cases, Khan emphasized being “quite pleased overall” with the FTC’s antitrust endeavors.

The FTC, led by Khan, filed a significant antitrust lawsuit against Amazon in September, accusing the retail giant of leveraging its “monopoly power” to manipulate prices, degrade quality, and stifle competition. This legal action follows Khan’s earlier work, notably her 2017 Yale Law Journal article titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” critiquing the existing antitrust framework’s limitations in addressing tech giants’ dominance.

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In the interview, Khan disclosed that she does not subscribe to Amazon Prime, the company’s membership service offering benefits such as free shipping, streaming content access, and Whole Foods discounts for $139 per year. When asked about her non-subscription, Khan simply replied, “I just haven’t.”

Khan’s comments provide insight into her perspectives on antitrust enforcement and her personal choices, contributing to the ongoing discussions around the role of regulatory bodies in overseeing tech companies and their practices.