Senate Panel Approves Longtime Big Tech Critic to Head Justice Department’s Antitrust Division

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The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee connected Thursday approved a dependable ballot for the information of salient Google and Big Tech critic Jonathan Kanter to pb the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust division.

Kanter, who is President Joe Biden’s nominee to head the division, has been a longtime professional of Alphabet’s Google, and as a lawyer successful backstage practice, has spent years representing rivals of tech giants including Apple and Amazon, who person been suspected of positioning their ain products supra their competitors successful bid to make higher profits.

The elephantine tech companies person denied immoderate wrongdoing.

The Justice Department sued Google past twelvemonth over allegations that the tech elephantine utilized its powerfulness to sphere its monopoly.

A lawsuit, filed successful a Washington national court, asserts that Google had tried to support its presumption arsenic a gatekeeper to the Internet by utilizing a fig of interlocking businesses to unopen retired competitors, thereby securing itself arsenic a monopoly. The DOJ claimed the Silicon Valley steadfast uses billions of dollars from its ain advertisements to wage carriers, browsers, telephone companies, and different entities to support Google arsenic a default hunt engine.

Google has disputed that claim.

Along with Kanter, the Biden medication antecedently chose 2 antitrust progressives with tech expertise, Tim Wu for the National Economic Council and Lina Khan to beryllium seat of the Federal Trade Commission.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), seat of the panel’s antitrust subcommittee, supported Kanter connected Thursday, saying helium has a “deep knowing of the issues.”

klobuchar Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaks during a proceeding successful Washington connected June 15, 2021. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images)

One Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, asked to beryllium marked down arsenic voting against the nomination, noting that portion helium shares Kanter’s concerns astir the tech industry, helium fears helium would “use antitrust tools arsenic a hammer to execute governmental oregon societal ends,” The New York Times reports.

Critics of Kanter besides fearfulness that helium whitethorn extremity up prosecuting cases that helium antecedently encouraged arsenic a lawyer representing rivals of tech giants.

Kanter said during his confirmation hearing earlier this period that helium supported “vigorous antitrust enforcement successful the exertion area,” The Washington Post reported.

“Political power should not beryllium a applicable origin successful determining whether to initiate oregon bring antitrust enforcement actions,” Kanter said. “The kinds of values are astir protecting competition, and contention tin output a wide scope of benefits, including protecting the escaped travel of information.”

Kanter pointed to aggregate industries were antitrust enforcement could beryllium appropriate, including wellness care, agriculture, and Big Tech.

I’ve been a beardown proponent of vigorous antitrust enforcement successful the exertion area, among others,” helium said.

Earlier this month, a dozen Republican and Democratic senators introduced a bill aimed at stopping Big Tech from limiting user prime and restoring contention online.

The American Innovation and Choice Online Act, which is akin to a measure introduced earlier this twelvemonth by House Judiciary Subcommittee connected Antitrust Chairman David Cicilline (D-R.I.), would marque it amerciable for ample tech companies to prosecute successful discriminatory behavior, including disadvantaging rivals.

Reuters contributed to this report. 

Katabella Roberts

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Katabella Roberts is simply a newsman presently based successful Turkey. She covers quality and concern for The Epoch Times, focusing chiefly connected the United States.

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