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Tim Wu, the ‘father of net neutrality,’ is joining the Biden administration

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One of Big Tech’s biggest critics joins the White House

Photo: New America / Flickr

Tim Wu — the Columbia law professor who coined the term “net neutrality” — is joining the Biden administration, where he’ll be working on technology and competition policy at the National Economic Council.

Wu is a prominent voice online, as one of the most well-known advocates for a free and open internet. He’s spent years arguing for the concept of net neutrality — the idea that the internet should be free of throttling or control from the government or companies that provide it.

He’s also been a prominent voice in recent years on the subject of antitrust regulation against big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon, arguing that these companies have gotten too large and lack competition.

His 2018 book, The Curse of Bigness: Antitrust in the New Gilded Age, argues for a return to 20th-century antitrust breakups in the style of Teddy Roosevelt. “I think everyone’s steering way away from the monopolies, and I think it’s hurting innovation in the tech sector,” said Wu in a Vergecast interview at the time.

The choice of Wu is a significant one, signaling that the Biden administration is looking to more aggressively try to curb the ever-growing power of big technology companies like Apple, Amazon, Google, and Facebook. In a statement, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) applauded the choice: “I look forward to working with Tim to modernize antitrust enforcement, strengthen our economy, and protect workers and consumers.”