Amazon has requested the recusal of Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan from the agency's antitrust investigations into the company. "Amazon.com, Inc. respectfully petitions the commission for recusal of Chair Lina Khan from any antitrust investigation, adjudication, litigation, or other proceeding in which Amazon is a subject, target or defendant for which Chair Khan's prior public statements create the appearance of her having prejudged facts and/or legal issues relevant to the proceeding," the company said in a 25-page filing.
President Joe Biden appointed Khan as FTC chair this month on the same day she won confirmation as an agency commissioner. She came to prominence as a critic of major tech companies, including Amazon. Khan published a Yale Law Journal article in 2017 titled "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox," in which she argued that US policies and laws weren't enough to keep giants like Amazon accountable.
"Given her long track record of detailed pronouncements about Amazon, and her repeated proclamations that Amazon has violated the antitrust laws, a reasonable observer would conclude that she no longer can consider the company’s antitrust defenses with an open mind,” Amazon said in the filing, as The Wall Street Journal notes.
Khan previously worked with the House Judiciary's antitrust subcommittee on a 16-month probe into Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Last year, Democrats on the panel called on Congress to consider breaking up those companies. During her confirmation hearing, Khan said she would speak with FTC ethics officials regarding a possible recusal if needed.