Senate approves Big Tech critic Jonathan Kantor as America’s top antitrust official.
WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jonathan Cantor, a corporate lawyer and Big Tech critic, for the top antitrust role in the nation, the latest action in efforts to curb the power of the Silicon Valley giant.
In a 68-to-29 vote, Mr Kanter’s approval to head the Justice Department’s antitrust division filled an important position in the Biden administration. The White House has made it clear that it wants to rein in the strength of US business, especially among powerful tech companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
His confirmation will go to President Biden for final approval.
Mr. Kantar has battled Google and other tech giants for years – mostly as an advocate for companies such as Microsoft, Uber, Yelp and News Corp. The Federal Trade Commission, which gained notoriety after writing a paper in law school arguing an antitrust doctrine against Amazon.
Together, the two antitrust promoters will lead the landmark cases against Google and Facebook.
It is unclear whether Mr Kantar will be asked to recuse himself from the Google lawsuit and other investigations, which may present conflicts of interest, given his history representing rival corporations. Amazon and Facebook have asked Ms Khan, who has never worked for a company, to distance herself from matters related to her public criticisms of the tech giant. The agency has said that it will not disengage itself from work related to the companies.
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