Today there are more than 100 million Amazon Prime members worldwide. This American electronic commerce and cloud computing company was started in 1994 by Jeff Bezos in Seattle, Washington. Although it began as an online bookstore, it now sells video games, electronics, apparel, furniture, food, toys, jewelry, and more. Users can stream Oscar-winning movies and music, as well as listen to audio books. Amazon’s low prices and fast delivery are raising the bar for competitors and keeping customers happy. This past month, Amazon reached $1 trillion in value, falling second only to Apple. But, should the changing economy be subject to new rules? Lina Khan thinks so, and she’s shaking up the system.
Movement Toward Change
Wondering who Lina Khan is? Born in London, Khan emigrated to the United States at age 11. She studied law at Yale and worked as an analyst at New America, where she researched consolidation across sectors. Her writing has appeared in the Yale Law Journal and Harvard Law & Policy Review. She was recently covered in a New York Times article, which discusses a paper she wrote as a law student that got her noticed and opened up a discussion for change.
Khan’s article Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox, published in the Yale Law Journal, discusses how current antitrust laws assess competition based on short-term interests of consumers, rather than the health of the market as a whole. She states, “Amazon has marched toward monopoly by singing the tune of contemporary antitrust.” Khan argues that a new assessment should be put in place, especially for online platforms, which would examine the competitive process itself. The focus would be on the business and the structural role it plays in the market. Khan believes it’s important to preserve the competitive process and market structure, rather than the consumer welfare framework that is currently in place.
This article has opened doors for Khan and even landed her with her own critics. She was asked to come in as a temporary advisor in July by the Federal Trade Commission in the midst of questions surrounding privacy, data, and competition. The FTC is holding a hearing this fall to determine whether there should be a change in rules to correspond with the changing economy.
HeinOnline Tips & Searching Tricks
Interested in Lina Khan and her writing? Check out her Author Profile Page in HeinOnline! Simply enter her name in the Author field in the Advanced Search option underneath the search bar.
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