Amazon said Wednesday that Lina Khan, the new chairwoman of the US Federal Trade Commission, should recuse herself from investigations into the company for potential antitrust violations. In a motion filed to the commission, Amazon said Khan's past criticisms of the company show she's too biased to bring fairness to the proceedings, The Wall Street Journal reported earlier.
"A reasonable observer would conclude that she no longer can consider the company's antitrust defenses with an open mind," Amazon said in its motion, filed Wednesday.
The FTC, which is conducting ongoing probes into Amazon, declined to comment. Khan was confirmed to her position by the Senate on June 15. She authored a paper for Yale Law School in 2017 about potential anticompetitive practices at Amazon, called Amazon's Antitrust Paradox, arguing that current US antitrust enforcement doesn't adequately target the harm the company may be causing with its dominance across several kinds of businesses, especially online retail and cloud computing.
Citing her work with the Open Markets Institute, writings in law journals and work with the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee to investigate Amazon for antitrust violations, Amazon said in a statement that Khan came into her role with "preconceived views."
"Amazon should be scrutinized along with all large organizations," an Amazon spokesperson said. "However, even large companies have the right to an impartial investigation."
Khan's appointment came as a bipartisan group of lawmakers introduced, including one that appears to take aim at Amazon. The would bar e-commerce companies from using their platforms to promote their own products over items sold by third party vendors that also use the site. It would also prohibit e-commerce firms from using data from those other companies to develop their own products. Amazon, which maintains it follows antitrust laws, has been accused of doing both.
CNET's Erin Carson contributed to this report.