The White House has announced that anti-monopoly and net neutrality activist Tim Wu will be appointed to its National Economic Council.
I hope that this means that the Biden administration will take concrete steps to reign in the monopoly power of big tech and the telecommunications incumbents, but I fear that this is just window dressing:
Longtime tech critic Tim Wu is joining the Biden administration as an adviser on technology and competition, a signal that the White House is likely to push for policies that rein in Big Tech.
Wu will be serving on the National Economic Council as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy, the White House said this morning. Wu confirmed the news in a tweet.
Wu is best known in tech circles as the man who coined the term "net neutrality" in the early 2000s. He has held several positions at the federal level before, including advisory roles with both the Federal Trade Commission and the National Economic Council. He has also been a full professor at Columbia University law school since 2006, where he teaches First Amendment and antitrust law.
His 2010 book The Master Switch argued that the open Internet as we knew it was barreling toward a closed-off, walled-garden future. In 2018 he published another book, The Curse of Bigness, in which he argued that US regulators' failure to enforce antitrust laws had led to "a new gilded age" and all its attendant problems.
The rubber hits the road in two places, DoJ enforcement and Congressional legislation.
Hopefully, we will see some action there.