WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jonathan Kanter, a company lawyer and Big Tech critic, to the highest antitrust function within the nation, the most recent motion in efforts to curb the facility of Silicon Valley giants.
In a 68-to-29 vote, the approval of Mr. Kanter to guide the Justice Department’s antitrust division crammed a key place within the Biden administration. The White House has made clear that it needs to rein in consolidation in American enterprise, particularly amongst highly effective tech firms like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.
His affirmation will go to President Biden for ultimate approval.
Mr. Kanter has fought Google and different tech giants for years — largely as a lawyer representing rivals resembling Microsoft, Uber, Yelp and News Corp. He joins different outstanding critics of Silicon Valley in authorities roles, together with Lina Khan, the chair of the Federal Trade Commission, who gained notoriety after writing a paper in regulation faculty arguing an antitrust idea in opposition to Amazon.
Together, the 2 antitrust enforcers will lead landmark instances in opposition to Google and Facebook.
It is unclear if Mr. Kanter will likely be requested to recuse himself from the Google lawsuit and different investigations that will current a battle of curiosity given his historical past representing rival companies. Amazon and Facebook have requested Ms. Khan, who has by no means labored for an organization, to recuse herself from issues involving them given her public criticisms in regards to the tech giants. The company has stated she wouldn’t recuse herself from actions associated to the businesses.