Jul 20, 2021 - Technology

Biden names tech foe as DOJ antitrust chief

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Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Jonathan Kanter, an antitrust veteran who is a favorite of progressives, is the Biden administration's choice to lead the Department of Justice's antitrust section as it pursues a raft of cases against tech giants, the White House announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The nomination completes a trifecta of wins for Democrats who want to see the standards for holding tech companies accountable for monopolistic behavior broaden beyond the traditional "consumer harm" measure.

  • The White House has already placed two other tech critics, Tim Wu and Lina Khan, in key positions, with Wu serving in the White House as President Biden's special assistant and Khan in charge of the Federal Trade Commission.

Between the lines: Kanter's past work on behalf of clients who have brought high-profile complaints against Google and other tech firms could complicate his nomination and lead to calls that he recuse himself from key cases, like the DOJ's ongoing lawsuit against Google.

Details: Kanter served as an attorney at the FTC from 1998-2000. He left Paul Weiss, one of Wall Street's largest law firms, last year to start his own firm.

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