Jonathan Kanter told lawmakers he would bring “vigorous” enforcement to the helm of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, as they weigh his nomination to serve as one of the federal government’s top competition cops, reported Washington Post.
On Wednesday in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing he laid out bits of his plan for lawmakers, focusing on ensuring robust competition for businesses across the country.
“Political influence should not be a relevant factor in determining whether to initiate or bring antitrust enforcement actions,” Kanter said in response to questioning from Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah). The kinds of values are around protecting competition, and competition can yield a wide range of benefits, including protecting the free flow of information.
Kanter is among a wave of personnel choices who signal the Biden administration’s eagerness to regulate the tech industry, after the companies have flourished for years seemingly without guardrails. His nomination signals how the Democrats’ relationship with the tech industry has deteriorated over the past decade, a stark shift from the Obama administration, which largely took a hands-off approach regulating tech companies.
During the nomination hearing, Kanter pointed to a number of industries where antitrust enforcement could be appropriate, from health care to agriculture. He also affirmed that he has an eye on Big Tech.
“I’ve been a strong proponent of vigorous antitrust enforcement in the technology area among others,” he said.
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