Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Kahn’s years-long effort to challenge Amazon’s power came to fruition on Tuesday when her agency filed a lawsuit against the online retailer for antitrust practices.

But who is Lina Khan who messed with the tech giant?

Lina Kahn, chair of the FTC from 2021, became famous while still a student for her article titled “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” published in 2017 in the Yale University Law Review.

In her article she argued that the US legal arsenal is insufficient to deal with the monopolistic practices of conglomerates like Amazon.
In her op-ed, Kahn argued that the company’s structure and practices raised anticompetitive concerns and had escaped antitrust scrutiny.

“In its missionary zeal for consumers, Amazon has moved toward monopoly singing the tune of modern antitrust,” he wrote. Kahn, then 29, in the Yale Law Journal. Amazon “has avoided government scrutiny in part by promoting a business strategy and rhetoric that helps lower prices for consumers.”

Six years later, Kahn, who became chairman of the FTC in 2021, leads against the company’s monopolistic practices that hurt the online retailer.

The FTC filed the lawsuit on Tuesday to “end Amazon’s illegal practice, prevent Amazon from monopolistic control, and prohibit Amazon from engaging in illegal practices that harm competition.”

Kahn said Tuesday that Amazon “has used a range of punitive and coercive tactics to illegally maintain its monopolies.” He argued that the company is “exploiting its monopoly power to enrich itself while raising prices and degrading service to the tens of millions of American families who shop on its platform.”

From her side, Amazon over the years has gone on the counterattack.

In 2021, the retail giant filed a petition seeking Khan’s exemption on Amazon-related matters; saying she had “repeatedly tried to break up Amazon throughout her career.” On Tuesday, he denied the allegations in the antitrust lawsuit, saying Amazon has helped spur competition and innovation throughout the retail industry.

Under Kahn, the FTC has taken an aggressive stance against Amazon, accusing it of enrolling millions of consumers in its paid Amazon Prime subscription service without their consent and making it difficult for them to cancel.