Google Demands Recusal Of New Antitrust Division Chair

Google has put forth an argument that states that Jonathan Kanter, who is the new assistant attorney general for the Antitrust Division of the United States, should recuse himself from taking part in the lawsuit targeting the firm that was put forth by the Justice Department.

This past week, Kanter received approval from the Senate in the form of a 68-29 vote. Across his long legal career, Kanter has been hired to represent many companies such as Uber, Yelp, and even Microsoft in their own fights with their competition. More often than not, Kanter would manage the action that the Trump administration and eleven other various state attorneys general officially put forth against Google back in October 2020.

While making note of his previous dealings, Google put forth the recommendation that Kanter remove himself from working on the suit:

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As head of the Antitrust Division, AAG Kanter would typically be responsible for overseeing any litigation or investigations against Google. However, AAG Kanter’s prior representations, actions, and statements raise concerns that having him supervise the Department’s actions involving Google may not satisfy the requirement that those actions be fair and impartial. Because our access to information about AAG Kanter’s prior representations and work is limited, we write to ask you to meet with us to discuss these concerns, investigate this matter, and reach an appropriate resolution…

Not only are AAG Kanter’s former clients’ interests directly affected by these lawsuits, AAG Kanter himself appears to have already benefited financially from representing parties who have advocated for and helped develop pending and potential future cases brought by the Department against Google.

“Mr. Kanter’s past statements and work representing competitors who have advocated for the cases brought by the Department raise serious concerns about his ability to be impartial,” stated a spokesperson for Google in an interview with The Verge.

As reported by the Daily Wire, a law professor from Columbia University, Lina Khan, was officially slated to take the reins of the Federal Trade Commission, which is a group that seeks to execute the enforcement of antitrust and consumer protection laws put in place by the federal government. Khan has an extreme hawkish reputation in regards to large technology companies, as stated by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).

Recently, the administration of Old Uncle Joe has stated his firm willingness to confront the so-called “Big Tech” firms. Back in mid-July, Biden put his signature on an “Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy.”

“The heart of American capitalism is a simple idea: Open and fair competition. That means that if your companies want to win your business, they have to go out and they have to up their game,” stated Biden. “Let me be very clear: Capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism. It’s exploitation.”

“Without healthy competition, big players can change and charge whatever they want and treat you however they want,” exclaimed Biden. “And for too many Americans that means accepting a bad deal for things you can’t go without. So, we know we’ve got a problem, a major problem. But we also have an incredible opportunity.”

“We have to get back to an economy that grows from the bottom up and the middle out,” he continued. “The executive order I’m soon going to be signing commits the federal government to full and aggressive enforcement of our antitrust laws. No more tolerance for abusive actions by monopolies, no more bad mergers that lead to mass layoffs, higher prices, fewer options for workers and consumers alike.”

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