Biden tapped a prominent Google foe to head up the Justice Department's antitrust division

Biden tapped a prominent Google foe to head up the Justice Department's antitrust division
Biden's team of tech critics in government has swelled with the appointment of Kanter. Getty Images
  • President Joe Biden has tapped a Google critic to lead the Justice Department's antitrust division.
  • The progressive favorite Jonathan Kanter has represented Microsoft and Yelp in cases against Google.
  • Google is facing a tidal wave of regulatory scrutiny throughout the US and abroad.

President Joe Biden is set to nominate a prominent critic of Google to head up the Justice Department's antitrust division.

The Biden administration has made reining in the power of technology firms a top priority, with the president recently signing a sweeping executive order telling federal agencies to scrutinize mergers more closely and suggesting vaccine misinformation on Facebook was "killing people."

Jonathan Kanter, a well-known antitrust lawyer, looks set to join a crack team of tech critics moving through the hallways of the Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and the National Economic Council.


Kanter has represented companies such as Yelp and Microsoft with antitrust complaints against Google, according to Bloomberg, and was said to be the candidate most favored by progressives like Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

"Jonathan Kanter is a distinguished antitrust lawyer with over 20 years of experience," a White House press release said. "Throughout his career, Kanter has also been a leading advocate and expert in the effort to promote strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy."

Kanter's appointment, which requires Senate confirmation, looks to be bad news for Google, a tech behemoth that is facing mounting political pressure from all sides over allegations of anticompetitive behavior.


Last month, US legislators unveiled five bipartisan bills to rein in the powers of Big Tech, marking an important milestone for a booming but unregulated industry.

Weeks later, dozens of US states have signed antitrust complaints highlighting Google's online advertising practices and bemoaning the tech giant's control of the Android app store.

If he is confirmed by the Senate, Kanter would oversee the Justice Department's current case against Google.


On Tuesday, the Google executive turned rival Sridhar Ramaswamy told Insider the company ought to be broken up in the interests of creating a more "level playing field."

"It is not right for one company to take the massive profits generated in one area to artificially prop up and achieve dominant positions in other completely unrelated areas," he said.

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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