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March 5, 2021, 3:12 p.m. EST

Biden administration confirms it’s hiring Big Tech critic Tim Wu

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By Victor Reklaitis

The White House on Friday announced that prominent Big Tech critic Tim Wu is joining its National Economic Council, with the move following reports last week that said the Biden administration would hire him.

Wu, a Columbia University law professor known for coining the term “net neutrality,” has been described as an antitrust crusader and a hero to progressives who want President Joe Biden to take a more aggressive approach to Big Tech. He will be a special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy, according to the White House.

Analysts have said that Wu’s hiring signals the prominent role that progressives are playing in the new administration. His book, “ The Curse of Bigness ,” is billed as a call for “recovering the lost tenets of the trustbusting age.”

Wu has argued for breaking up Facebook /zigman2/quotes/205064656/composite FB -0.57% , so White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked at a briefing on Friday if that view was now the administration’s policy.

“His hiring is a reflection of the value of his expertise. If the administration policy was determined by every person that was hired, we would have 400 different policies on each issue,” Psaki said in response.

“We don’t have new policy to announce. We’re six weeks into an administration.”

Tech stocks, as tracked by the technology SPDR /zigman2/quotes/207444675/composite XLK +0.94% , have dropped 5% over the past month but are still up 42% over the past 12 months, while the broad S&P 500 index /zigman2/quotes/210599714/realtime SPX +0.33% is down just 1% in the past month and has a 12-month gain of 27%.

Now read: What a Biden FCC means for social-media and internet regulation

Also: Big Tech has an antitrust target on its back, and it is only going to get bigger

Plus: Cathie Wood’s highflying ARK ETF just entered a bear market — a sign of the times?

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