Facebook joins Amazon in requesting the FTC's new chairwoman be removed from any investigations, saying she's biased

Facebook joins Amazon in requesting the FTC's new chairwoman be removed from any investigations, saying she's biased
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images; GRAEME JENNINGS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images; Insider
  • Facebook filed a petition with the FTC to have its chair removed from any company deliberations.
  • Facebook's petition comes two weeks after Amazon made a similar one.
  • Both companies said Khan is biased given her past criticism of Big Tech.

Facebook wants Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan removed from any investigation of the company and has accused her of bias, citing her past criticisms of the tech industry.

Facebook filed a petition on Wednesday with the agency, arguing that Khan should recuse herself since she "has already drawn factual and legal conclusions and deemed the target a lawbreaker." The company shared the petition with Insider as the FTC does not make them public. The Wall Street Journal first reported the news.

A Facebook spokesperson told Insider: "Chair Khan has consistently made well-documented statements about Facebook and antitrust matters that would lead any reasonable observer to conclude that she has prejudged the Facebook antitrust case brought by the FTC."

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"To protect the fairness and impartiality of these proceedings, we have requested that Chair Khan recuse herself from involvement with the FTC's antitrust case against Facebook," Facebook continued.

The FTC filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook in December, but a judge threw it out in late June since he said the agency failed to show evidence that Facebook had monopoly power in the online market. The FTC is now deliberating about filing a new lawsuit against the company.


Facebook's request to have Khan removed from any deliberations involving the company comes two weeks after Amazon made a similar plea as the e-commerce giant remained under investigation at the FTC.

Amazon argued in June that "Chair Khan's body of work and public statements demonstrate that she has prejudged the outcome of matters the FTC may examine during her term and, under established law, preclude her from participating in such matters."

President Joe Biden appointed Khan to FTC Chair in June, and her extensive background in antitrust law paired with her new role has made waves in the tech and antitrust worlds. Khan wrote an influential paper in 2017 drawing attention to how today's outdated antitrust framework allowed Amazon to escape scrutiny.

She also helped the House investigate Facebook, Amazon, Google, and Apple over antitrust concerns in online competition.