Big Tech critic Tim Wu is leaving the White House

After advising President Biden on technology and competition policy for nearly two years, net neutrality advocate Tim Wu is leaving the White House. The Biden administration announced the departure this week, noting Wu’s final day at the National Economic Council would fall on January 4th. Wu became a special advisor to the president in March 2021. He held a similar position during the Obama administration.

In the New Year I’ll be leaving the White House and returning to Columbia University. We did more that I thought possible over the last two years to set a new course in antitrust and economic policy, and I’m grateful to have been a part of it

— Tim Wu (@superwuster) December 30, 2022

Wu told The New York Times he’s leaving the federal government to spend more time with his family. His post at the White House had required Wu to commute between New York and Washington DC, leaving his young children without their father for stretches of time. “There’s a time where the burden on family is too much,” he said. “I’ve been feeling the balance has shifted.” Wu told The Times he plans to return to Columbia University, where he was a law professor before his latest government stint.

Wu is leaving the White House at a critical moment during the Biden administration’s efforts to rein in Big Tech. Last year, he co-authored the executive order that instructed the Federal Communications Commission to restore net neutrality and promised greater scrutiny of mergers. In July of this year, the Federal Trade Commission sued Meta to block the purchase of VR developer Within. Earlier this month, the agency also moved to prevent Microsoft’s merger with Activision Blizzard. Both cases are currently before the courts and are expected to be tough battles for the FTC. 


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