- Lina Khan's 2017 Yale Law article challenges modern antitrust laws' relevance to tech giants.
- FTC’s anticipated lawsuit against Amazon's potential monopoly could break up the trillion-dollar business.
- FTC recently had a crucial meeting with Amazon, typically signifying an imminent lawsuit.
Lina Khan's leadership at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has unmistakably put Amazon in the spotlight. The spark of this keen attention? A groundbreaking piece she wrote in 2017, "Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox," for the Yale Law Journal. It shook the antitrust realm by suggesting that today's laws aren't catching up with the dominance tech titans, like Amazon, wield in our digital era.
Becoming a buzzword in antitrust discussions, this paper catapulted Khan to be the youngest chair of the FTC. Naturally, Amazon, feeling the heat, pushed for Khan to step back from its antitrust probes, citing her previous critiques. A similar move by Meta, however, was turned down in another case. Since Khan's tenure, the FTC hasn’t shied away from big tech. Noteworthy moments include challenging Meta’s intention to buy virtual reality firm, Within Unlimited, and raising eyebrows at Amazon’s Prime service. But the real talk of the town has been an anticipated lawsuit against Amazon's potential monopoly stronghold.
Now, as per insiders from The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, that lawsuit may be just around the corner. The ramifications? If the FTC has its way in court, we might witness the fragmenting of Amazon's mammoth enterprise. The FTC recently had what insiders refer to as a "last rites" meeting with Amazon. These meetings usually prelude an official lawsuit, offering the company a chance to present their case. But this time, no terms for settlement were brought to the table.
The imminent lawsuit is rumored to zoom in on the heart of Amazon's retail operations, shedding light on its logistics program, Fulfillment by Amazon, and the pricing strategies of third-party vendors on its platform. The FTC's interest isn't exactly new; even before Khan's appointment, it had started probing Amazon sellers to uncover if the giant was squashing its competition. While the FTC has chosen to remain tight-lipped about these speculations, Amazon too has opted for a hushed tone.
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