The Federal Trade Commission’s first meeting under new Chair Lina Khan broke decades of precedent Thursday by taking place in public — something unheard-of for the notably secretive antitrust and consumer protection agency.
Then it pushed through a series of actions on progressive Democrats’ wish list: Fines for companies that lie about products being “Made in America.” Greater latitude for launching antitrust probes and lawsuits. And a wider door to writing new regulations — something else the FTC hasn’t done much of in decades.
All this came despite fierce objections from the commission’s two Republicans, in a sign that partisan rancor is also back in vogue at the Biden-era FTC.
Thursday’s videoconferenced session was the first public glimpse of what may lie in store for the 106-year-old agency under its youngest-ever chair, a former Columbia University law professor who made her reputation as a critic of tech giants like Amazon. And fellow tech critics were particularly thrilled.