Gus Hurwitz on Lina Khan’s potential conflicts of interest

Bloomberg Law – ICLE Director of Law & Economics Programs Gus Hurwitz was quoted by Bloomberg Law in a story about whether newly confirmed Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan should recuse herself from the commission’s lawsuit against Amazon. You can read the full piece here.

Joshua Wright, who was sworn in as a commissioner in 2013, recused himself from reviews involving Google because of his paid work as a lawyer or law firm working for the tech giant, said Gus Hurwitz, an administrative and antitrust law professor at the University of Nebraska.

That recusal fight had less to do with his opinions and more to do with his financial interest, Hurwitz said. “So, the question of whether or not his scholarly writings were sufficient wasn’t really brought to the fore,” he said.

Whether Khan should be recused also turns on the forum the FTC chooses for any enforcement actions against Amazon, Hurwitz said.

If the FTC files a complaint in its own administrative tribunal, Amazon will have a stronger argument for Khan’s recusal, he said.

“If the FTC is making rules or bringing a court case against Amazon, that’s where I think she’ll be on the strongest grounds,” he said.