Pressure on big tech rises as Biden chooses another reviewer for key post on Justice, IT News, ET CIO


By Nandita Bose and Diane Bartz

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden on Tuesday appointed attorney and Google critic Jonathan Kanter as the Justice Department’s antitrust chief in the latest sign that the White House is determined to bring the biggest companies in the world under control. world, especially Big Tech.

Progressives who advocate stricter antitrust enforcement have lobbied for the appointment of Kanter, who recently launched his own law firm, Kanter Law Group LLP, which bills itself as an “antitrust advocacy shop.” .

The White House has called Kanter “a great advocate and expert in efforts to promote strong and meaningful antitrust and competition policy.”

He spent years representing Google’s rivals of Alphabet Inc, which the Justice Department sued last year, alleging he violated antitrust law by seeking to hobble his rivals.

The Biden administration had previously chosen two antitrust progressives with technological expertise, Tim Wu for the National Economic Council and Lina Khan to be commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission.

Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Liberties Project, said Kanter “made many of the most successful legal arguments behind major antitrust investigations into Big Tech.”

Kanter declined to comment on the appointment.

If confirmed by the Senate, Kanter, who previously worked for Paul, Weiss, Rifkind Wharton & Garrison LLP and two other major law firms, will take the reins of the Justice Department’s antitrust division amid appeals. tighter enforcement overall, with particular criticism aimed at Google, Facebook Inc, Inc and Apple Inc.

The tech giants have been under investigation for about two years, and a US House of Representatives panel released a report in October that they used “murderous acquisitions” to fend off rivals , charged exorbitant fees and forced small businesses into “oppressive” contracts in the name of profit.

The companies have vigorously denied any wrongdoing.

The Kanter Justice Department’s Antitrust Division will play a key role in implementing the Biden Executive Order to promote competition in the U.S. economy. In addition to suing Google, the Justice Department is also investigating Apple.

The Federal Trade Commission shares antitrust enforcement work with the Department of Justice.

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