When President Donald Trump slams Amazon on Twitter, it is easy to dismiss the attacks as social media bluster, motivated by antipathy towards Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos because of his personal ownership of the Washington Post. But there are other signs that Amazon critics are gaining influence in Washington, D.C., with arguments that the company’s market power should be reined in.
Last week, one of the most vocal of those critics, Lina Khan, was hired at the Federal Trade Commission as the agency prepares for hearings on competition and consumer protection this fall. Ms. Khan is one of the leading proponents of the idea that conventional antitrust enforcement needs to be rethought in the era of giant tech platforms like Amazon. Members of Congress are starting to speak out on Amazon’s power, and their voices are likely to get a boost if Democrats retake Congress after the midterm elections.