Facebook Inc. wants Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan to be recused from participating in decisions about the agency’s monopoly lawsuit against the company, saying her past criticism of Facebook means she’s biased.
On Wednesday, Facebook filed a petition with the FTC, asking that she be barred from any involvement in the antitrust case.
“For the entirety of her professional career, Chair Khan has consistently and very publicly concluded that Facebook is guilty of violating the antitrust laws,” Facebook said. Her statements “convey to any disinterested observer that Chair Khan, well before becoming a commissioner, had already decided the material facts relevant to Facebook’s liability.”
The petition comes as the FTC must decide by the end of the month whether to refile its antitrust complaint against Facebook. A judge in June dismissed the case, saying the agency hadn’t fully explained its claim that Facebook has a monopoly in social media. He gave the FTC 30 days to fix the error and refile.
Facebook’s request mirrors one made by Amazon.com Inc., which also argued that Khan’s criticism of the online retailer made clear she has already judged that the company has violated antitrust laws.
U.S. President Joe Biden named Khan chair of the agency in June after she was confirmed by the Senate. The move put one of the most prominent antagonists of big business in charge of the agency, which share antitrust enforcement duties with the Justice Department.