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Biden nominates Google critic Jonathan Kanter to lead DOJ antitrust division

Credit: WikiMedia Commons

President Joe Biden has selected Jonathan Kanter, an attorney and critic of Google parent company Alphabet, to lead the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division.

The White House announced President Biden's intent to nominate Kanter on Tuesday. If approved for the position, Kanter will join a growing team within the Biden Administration made up of antitrust experts that could ultimately curb the power of Silicon Valley tech giants.

As head of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division, Kanter would have the power to block anticompetitive mergers and will oversee the department's antitrust lawsuits. That includes a major case brought against Google for alleged monopoly power in the digital ad market, as well as an investigation into Apple's handling of the App Store.

Kanter also appears to enjoy some measure of bipartisan support. According to Protocol, he's seen as a good choice among both progressives and Republicans who have become skeptical of Big Tech's power.

The attorney served as the co-chair of antitrust practices at a major U.S. law firm and recently co-founded the Kanter Law Group, which specializes in antitrust law. He also has experience representing companies that brought antitrust lawsuits against Google.

The Biden Administration already has top antitrust experts among its ranks, including National Economic Council special assistant Tim Wu and Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Lina Khan, a Columbia Law School professor who had criticized Amazon for anticompetitiveness before joining the FTC.

Big Tech companies appear worried about Biden's antitrust team. Earlier in July, both Amazon and Facebook lawyers demanded that Khan recuse herself from antitrust cases involving the Silicon Valley companies.

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