President Joe Biden has picked Jonathan Kanter to serve as the Justice Department’s (DOJ) assistant attorney general for antitrust, in a major win for progressive Democrats who accused the agency of failing to aggressively pursue major tech companies’ antitrust and privacy violations, Bloomberg reported.
According to the New York Times, Biden’s plan to appoint Mr. Kanter, an antitrust lawyer who has made a career out of representing smaller rivals of Big Tech, signals how strongly the administration is siding with the growing field of lawmakers, researchers and regulators who say that Silicon Valley has obtained outsize power over the way Americans speak with one another, buy products online and consume news.
If the Senate confirms him, Kanter would head the division that filed an antitrust suit against Google in October.
Kanter began his career as a staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission before moving to private practice. A protege of Rick Rule, a Republican who served as President Ronald Reagan’s DOJ antitrust chief, Kanter represented Microsoft when it settled the Justice Department’s probe in the early 2000s and then through the company’s travails with European antitrust authorities.
He also represented companies including US Airways in its merger with American Airlines, and health insurer Cigna in its failed deal with Anthem.
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