Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lena Khan is taking on the world’s biggest tech companies — and loss. From one report: Khan failed Tuesday in her last-ditch effort to block a major tech deal A federal judge rejected the agency’s bid to block Microsoft from closing its acquisition of video game publisher Activision Blizzard. The FTC suffered a similar setback earlier this year when it tried to block the acquisition of virtual-reality game company Meta Platforms. Khan, who gained notoriety as an Amazon critic, took office in 2021 on a promise to tighten antitrust enforcement. Past executives have been wary of bringing up serious issues, she said, and companies like Facebook owner Meta have been unable to deal with companies that have gained near-monopoly power in digital industries.
“I’m certainly not someone who sees success as a 100% on-court record,” Khan said in comments at the University of Chicago last year. “I think there’s a serious cost to that if you never bring up those serious issues, which can lead to stagnation and stagnation.” Under the Biden administration, antitrust agencies have probed more mergers than in previous years, including some that the government has historically not tried to block. Microsoft and Activision are not head-to-head competitors, which makes the case more indirect and more dependent on the FTC’s prediction.