This is the story of how Lina Khan, a public interest lawyer, took on Netflix and won.

Lina Khan is a well-known journalist and activist. She has recently released her memoir, The Gift of Time. The book is about how she was able to escape the oppressive family life that she had been living in.


The Board of Editors


The Board of Editors

6:48 p.m., July 12, 2021 ET


Lina Khan is the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission.

Getty Images/Graeme Jennings/Agence France-Presse

President Biden’s directive on Friday wasn’t necessary for FTC Chair Lina Khan to provide greater scrutiny to Big Tech acquisitions. She had already started working on it.

Several news sources reported on Friday that the Federal Trade Commission has started an extensive investigation into Amazon’s planned $8.5 billion acquisition of MGM Studios. Since of the deal’s magnitude, Amazon had to submit premerger notifications with the FTC, but 95% of mergers are approved because they pose no danger to competition.

The Amazon-MGM transaction doesn’t either, yet the FTC has sent Amazon with a “second request” for details. This indicates that the government is evaluating a potential purchase. What exactly is it that has to be examined? In the world of media content and streaming, there is a lot of competition. The typical American home has four streaming services.

Disney +, Netflix, Hulu, Apple, NBC, and WarnerMedia are among Amazon’s streaming rivals (now merging with Discovery). The MGM deal will help Amazon’s 140 million Prime members in the United States, who will get access to a bigger library of material, and it may push rival streaming services to enhance their own libraries.

MGM’s production studios have been suffering as consumers prefer their large screens at home than going to the movies. Disney purchased 21st Century Fox in 2019 in part because of its massive library, which includes the Simpsons and numerous Marvel brand films. Amazon has emphasized niche-appealing original content, but it trails behind in classics. It also wants to provide greater value to Prime subscribers, given that rival shops already offer quick and free online deliveries.

The FTC should approve the transaction based on the century-old “rule of reason” and consumer-welfare criteria, but Democratic commissioners are eschewing both. Ms. Khan should disqualify herself from the Amazon-MGM investigation since she published “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox” in the Yale Law Journal in 2017, claiming that Amazon’s capacity to “cross-leverage market advantages across different lines of business” was anti-competitive. This may be a notion the FTC is looking at as part of its MGM investigation, but there’s no way she can assess the facts objectively.

Blocking the agreement will only help rival streaming behemoths like Netflix and Disney. Last decade, the Justice Department’s years-long antitrust battle against Apple’s book publishing agreements helped solidify Amazon’s e-book supremacy. Antitrust actions based on the rule of law often harm consumers and reduce market competition.

Biden wants billions to employ an army of tax inspectors, according to a Journal editorial. Image courtesy of Getty Images/Zach Gibson

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The print version of the July 13, 2021, was published.

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