Biden Taps Critic Of Big Tech Jonathan Kanter To Head DOJ Antitrust Division

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President Joe Biden announced his intent Tuesday to nominate Jonathan Kanter, an antitrust lawyer, and advocate, to head antitrust efforts at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Kanter will serve as assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division at the DOJ, the White House announced Tuesday in a press release. He currently heads Kanter Law Group, which describes itself on its website as an “antitrust advocacy boutique” and an “advocacy-focused law firm.”

As a lawyer Kanter was involved in a number of antitrust challenges against major tech companies, Bloomberg reported. Kanter represented Microsoft when it filed an antitrust complaint against Google, as well as other companies that lodged antitrust complaints against Apple and Amazon, according to Politico.

Kanter had also previously served as an attorney for the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Bureau of competition, and represented plaintiffs in the DOJ’s October antitrust lawsuit against Google, according to The Wall Street Journal. Should he be confirmed, Kanter will take over the complaint.

The nomination received praise from antitrust supporters on both sides of the aisle.

“Jonathan Kanter’s nomination to lead the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division is tremendous news for workers and consumers,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren tweeted Tuesday. “He’s been a leader in the fight to check consolidated corporate power and strengthen competition in our markets.”

“Cheers to President Joe Biden for making a third great antitrust pick: Jonathan Kanter to lead the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division,” Mike Davis, president and founder of the Internet Accountability Project, tweeted Tuesday.

The Biden administration had nominated another vocal advocate of tech antitrust enforcement, Lina Khan, to lead the FTC in June. Khan had previously suggested more aggressive enforcement of tech companies in a paper, “Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox,” written while she attended Yale Law School.

As Assistant Attorney General, Kanter will have the sole authority to file antitrust lawsuits, unlike Khan who requires a majority of the FTC commissioners, Bloomberg reported.