- Elizabeth Warren attacked Facebook and Amazon over their objections to FTC chair Lina Khan.
- Both companies tried to get Khan recused from antitrust cases involving them, claiming she's biased.
- Warren said the companies' concerns were motivated by fear of Khan's expertise.
- See more stories on Insider's business page.
Elizabeth Warren attacked Facebook and Amazon on Wednesday for trying to get new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) chair Lina Khan taken off any antitrust cases involving them.
The companies were trying to sideline Khan because they "fear" her expertise in antitrust law, Warren said in a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.
Warren was joined by Sens. Pramila Jayapal, Richard Blumenthal, and Cory Booker in a letter. The senators said Facebook and Amazon's attempts to sideline Khan "only add to the perception that you are attempting to bully your regulators, disarm the FTC, and avoid accountability rather than to strengthen ethics standards."
Khan, a Yale Law School graduate who published a paper entitled "Amazon's antitrust paradox" in 2017, was nominated to the FTC on June 15. Later that month, Amazon filed a 25-page request to the FTC asking to have Khan removed from any judgement involving the company.
Facebook did the same in July, requesting that Khan be recused from an ongoing antitrust lawsuit filed against the company by the FTC.
Both companies said Khan has displayed bias against them in the past.
"The real basis of your concerns appears to be that you fear Chair Khan's expertise and interpretation of federal antitrust law," the senators wrote.
"To argue that federal ethics laws preclude Chair Khan from exercising her expertise is illogical and inconsistent with the plain language of the relevant statutes and with FTC ethics officials' interpretations of recusal requirements," they added.
Warren wrote in a tweet that "Amazon and Facebook want to sideline @linakhanFTC to force an @FTC stalemate and evade accountability for their anti-competitive behavior."
-Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) August 4, 2021
In the letter, the senators also asked the companies to disclose how many of their attorneys had worked at the FTC, the Department of Justice (DOJ), or for a state Attorney General, as well as how many of their lobbyists have worked in Congress.
Warren has attacked Big Tech before, claiming companies like Amazon and Facebook are anti-competitive. During her presidential candidacy run, Warren said she would like to break up the Big Tech companies including Amazon, Facebook, and Google.