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Critics of Biden’s Antitrust Push Target FTC’s Lina Khan

Business and conservative groups get personal as they paint her as the symbol of government overreach.

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has been beset by critics.

Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has been beset by critics.

Photo illustration: 731; Photos: Alamy; Getty Images; Shutterstock
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Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan has made no secret of her desire to take on what she sees as the excesses of big business. But something seemed to click for corporate America on Jan. 5, when her agency announced a proposed rule that would ban noncompete agreements, contracts that employers use to keep departing workers from taking other jobs in their industry. Some businesses say these contracts help them retain talent and protect sensitive information, but the FTC says that they’re an unfair drag on the economy, and that banning them will increase wages by $300 billion annually.

Almost immediately, the US Chamber of Commerce set up a series of regular calls with more than 100 of its local chapters, business groups and private companies. They’ve discussed things such as who should lead the lawsuit it’s considering filing when the rules are finalized, according to two people involved, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private conversations. “We began to hear unprecedented levels of concern from our members,” says Sean Heather, senior vice president of the chamber.