WASHINGTON — Early in her tenure as chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan declared that she would rein in the power of the largest technology companies in a dramatically new way.
“We’re trying to be forward looking, anticipating problems and taking fast action,” Ms. Khan said in an interview last month. She promised to focus on “next-generation technologies,” and not just on areas where tech behemoths were already well established.
This week, Ms. Khan took her first step toward stopping the tech monopolies of the future when she sued to block a small acquisition by Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, of the virtual-reality fitness start-up Within. The deal was significant for Meta’s development of the so-called metaverse, which is a nascent technology and far from mainstream.
In doing so, Ms. Khan upended decades of antitrust standards, potentially setting off a wholesale shift in the way Washington