Amazon on Wednesday demanded that the new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, an avowed critic of the company, withdraw from all antitrust investigations against the e-commerce giant.
The company argued in a 25-page petition to the FTC that chairwoman Lina Khan could not be impartial on antitrust matters affecting the company because she criticized Amazon as a scientist and author and worked for a member a congressional investigation of the company.
“At least these records suggest that the FTC, led by Chairman Khan, would not be a neutral and impartial evaluator of the evidence in an antitrust investigation against Amazon or in deciding whether to take enforcement action against the company,” it said Company in the file with.
Amazon said Ms. Khan should be excluded from “at least all current Amazon antitrust investigations that the Commission has notified Amazon of”. The company is the subject of an FTC investigation and investigations by prosecutors.
An FTC spokeswoman Lindsay Kryzak declined to comment on the petition.
The petition shows how the big tech companies are trying to demean and discredit the efforts of the Biden government and lawmakers to regulate the industry. They have campaigned against bills banning some of their business practices, supported outside interest groups defending their position, and hired dozens of lawyers to help fend off investigations.
President Biden named Ms. Khan as chair this month after Congress approved her nomination for a seat on the commission. She has made no secret of her concern for the country’s largest tech companies.
She told lawmakers at her confirmation hearing in April that she saw “a whole range of potential risks” in companies and signaled that she would try to address those risks while at the agency.
Amazon said if Ms. Khan played a role in Amazon’s antitrust investigation, it would violate federal ethics and the company’s right to due process.
The company included a statement from Thomas D. Morgan, a law professor emeritus from George Washington University, endorsing his position. Mr Morgan said he was paid by Amazon to give his opinion.