The move is rattling representatives of the tech industry and its allies, who say Wu’s work is full of big ideas that ignore the realities of enforcement and the potential harms of breaking up the biggest companies in the country. “There’s certainly a laser focus by Mr. Wu on technology platforms — it seems to permeate almost everything he does,” said Carl Szabo, vice president and general counsel at tech trade group NetChoice. “Essentially, you’ve got somebody who is so convinced that something is bad that they will seek to prove their hypothesis rather than engage in true analytics.”
Throughout his stints in the government — the New York attorney general’s office, the FTC and Obama’s NEC — Wu has mainly served as a big thinker seeking to expand how his colleagues approached competition issues. And now his task will be turning all that energy into substantive policy change during the Biden administration.
Szabo said Silicon Valley shouldn’t underestimate the importance of Wu’s appointment.
“It should not be hand-waved away,” he said. “This could be dangerous.”