Report: Top DOJ Chief Barred from Google Investigation

Google via Wikimedia Commons

President Biden’s top antitrust attorney has been temporarily barred from working on investigations into alleged monopolistic practices by Google.

Jonathan Kanter, a liberal Big Tech critic and a longtime advocate for antitrust action against Google in particular will not be able to participate in the Justice Department’s historic antitrust lawsuit against Google.

The Washington Examiner reports:

Google in November petitioned the Justice Department to recuse Kanter for all actions involving the company due to his past work for its rivals, but despite the temporary block on Kanter’s involvement in the Google investigations Tuesday, the DOJ has yet to make an official decision on a full recusal.

Kanter “was a consistent proponent of vigorous antitrust enforcement in the private sector,” Jeff Hauser, founder of the Revolving Door Project, a government accountability advocacy group, told Bloomberg. “In that world, it’s not problematic to be on the same side. The Biden administration found in Kanter somebody with a proven track record taking a set of concerns seriously that the administration wanted to take seriously.”

As an antitrust lawyer, Kanter has previously represented companies that have accused Google of unfair and anti-competitive behavior. He has also worked for a firm representing Amazon, Uber, and Mastercard on antitrust issues.

This background provided grounds for tech giants such as Google and Amazon to ask him to recuse himself from antitrust cases involving their companies due to conflicts of interest.

The Justice Department’s investigation into Google was launched during the Trump administration in October 2020.


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