The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan is not holding back in her fight against Big Tech, focusing her attention on their ambitious AI goals and using a mob analogy to drive her point home. Speaking at TechCrunch’s StrictlyVC conference in Washington, D.C., Khan emphasized the significance of the cases brought by the FTC and highlighted the importance of targeting the main players rather than the smaller ones.

Appointed chair of the FTC by President Joe Biden in 2021, Khan has made significant moves such as banning noncompete agreements for most employees and attempting to block major mergers and acquisitions. One notable case involved stopping Coach’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Michael Kors, arguing it would stifle direct competition. However, Khan has primarily focused on Big Tech in her antitrust actions.

Last year, the FTC filed a lawsuit against Amazon for anticompetitive practices. Additionally, the FTC tried to block Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, but the attempt was unsuccessful. More recently, Khan and the FTC have shifted their attention to AI, investigating big tech companies, especially Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI.

Despite facing criticism from some quarters, Khan remains steadfast in her pursuit of antitrust cases. At the StrictlyVC conference, she emphasized the importance of not favoring “national champions” and highlighted the role of startups and small businesses in driving innovation and competition.

Reflecting on historical antitrust actions that have encouraged innovation, Khan underscored the need to prioritize open, fair, and competitive markets for driving innovation. Subscribing to the Fortune Next to Lead newsletter can provide valuable insights on navigating the corporate world. Sign up for free before its launch on June 24, 2024.


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