Khan’s link to Wu is particularly vexing, tech industry observers note, since the FTC is supposed to operate independently of the White House and Wu is an antitrust advisor to President Joe Biden.
The direct link amounts to a “red-light phone” between the FTC and White House, argues Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel of NetChoice, an industry group whose funders include Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
“You’ve put somebody in the position of neutrally enforcing the laws when they would much rather write them,” Szabo told MarketWatch. “Imagine being asked to sit before a judge who has written a paper claiming the defendant is guilty. This casts a pall of controversy and political connections, undermining trust.”
“She should recuse herself from any decision [on Big Tech] that she has rendered,” Szabo said. “Otherwise, it will end up being disputed in court.”