WASHINGTON – President Biden on Friday appointed Tim Woo, a law professor at Columbia University, to the National Economic Council as a special assistant to the president in technology and competition policy, making him one of the most outspoken critics of the Big Tech government.
The appointment of 48-year-old Wu, who is widely supported by progressive Democrats and anti-monopoly groups, suggests that the administration plans to take on the same size of influence as companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google, including work with Congress on antitrust enforcement legislation. During his campaign, Biden said he would be open to the collapse of technology companies.
That confrontation with the tech industry will be a continuation of the Trump administration’s approach. Late last year, federal regulators sued Facebook and Google for antitrust violations. Regulators continue to investigate allegations that Amazon and Apple are unfairly crushing competition.
Biden also expressed skepticism about the legal communications of social media companies, known as Section 230 of the Communication Decency Act. He told The New York Times in January 2020 that Section 230 “should be repealed immediately.”
The tech companies have been vigorously fighting new antitrust laws and regulations, making it one of Washington’s most powerful lobbying forces.
Wu warned of backlash in the hands of several companies, saying the nation’s economy was reminiscent of the gilded era of the late 1800s.
“Extreme economic concentration leads to gross inequality և material suffering, feeding the appetite of nationalist և extremist leadership,” Wu wrote in his Curse of Supremacy. In the new gilded era of antitrust “in the book.
“In our daily lives, the great power of technology platforms, especially Google, Facebook and Amazon, is more visible,” he added.
Prior to that, he was a contributing writer for The Times to be appointed to the White House.
Its role focused on competition policy will be new in the National Economic Council. Wu will also focus on labor policy competition, such as the non-competitive provisions applied by companies ացումը the concentration of power in the և agriculture և pharmaceutical industry. The case does not require Senate approval.
Biden has not yet named the candidates who will formally head the antitrust department of the Department of Justice և The Federal Trade Commission, the main agency that oversees trade competition. Progressives have struggled to find left-wing advocates such as Wu for more individuals with a history of working in technology companies or law firms representing them.
“The team has long been an advocate for antitrust, it’s motivated government officials to crack down on big tech,” said Sen. Elizabeth Warren of D-Mass. “I’m glad to see him in this role.”
Wu left the academy at various times to work in government. He served as Special Adviser to the Federal Trade Commission from 2011 to 2012, and later joined the National Economic Council to work on a competitive policy known under the Obama administration for its child-friendly gloves toward technology companies such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon. After that, Wu expressed some regrets.
“I worked in the Obama administration, I worked in antitrust, so I take some blame here, but we did not provide the merger control that we should have had,” Wu said in a 2019 interview at the Aspen Ideas Festival. He added that “sometimes we had a very rosy view” of technology.
Under relatively lenient regulations, these companies expanded greatly through mergers and acquisitions during President Barack Obama’s two terms in office. Wu has spoken at the core of many Democrats since those days, realizing that tech giants have failed to live up to promises of protecting user data, treating small competitors fairly, and rooting out misinformation about their programs.
Wu is best known for coining the term “net neutrality” to advocate for powerful telecommunications companies – a regulatory philosophy that consumers should have equal access to all Internet content. Recently, he turned his attention to goalkeepers such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, who dominate through word of mouth, search, and retail.
During the federal antitrust investigation on Facebook, he joined Chris Hughes, the co-founder of Facebook, in arguing for the break-up of the company.
Appointment marks a new era in antitrust law. The statement came from Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Democratic chair of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee. Klobuchar presented a broad plan to strengthen antitrust laws.
“Laws have not changed, so enforcement and new ideas are possible,” he said. “This is the shot that competition policy needs.”