October 24, 2021

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Biden's Choose for Prime Antitrust Official Was a Star Company Lawyer

Biden's Pick for Top Antitrust Official Was a Star Corporate Lawyer

Mr. Kanter left Paul, Weiss in 2020. His rising ties to corporations that had aggressive complaints in opposition to Large Tech corporations more and more brought up conflicts of interest for the firm. Whereas Google is just not a Paul, Weiss shopper, Apple, for instance, is.

If he joins the Justice Division, the problem of conflicts would most likely be one in all appearances reasonably than one thing that will require Mr. Kanter to recuse himself from the Google case, authorized specialists say. It’s not a disqualifying battle, they are saying, as a result of the Justice Division’s position is as a prosecutor and Mr. Kanter is just not switching sides, simply changing into a Google adversary on behalf of the federal government.

But it surely may very well be a problem that Google raises when the go well with goes to trial. Equally, authorized specialists view Amazon’s request that Ms. Khan, an outspoken critic of the e-commerce big, recuse herself from F.T.C. investigations of the corporate as a public-relations tactic now — and maybe a problem to lift in courtroom later.

The place Mr. Kanter would most certainly should recuse himself, they are saying, is that if the Justice Division investigated complaints in opposition to Microsoft, which he did signify as a company protection lawyer.

Microsoft, the goal of a federal antitrust go well with within the Nineties, has largely escaped the scrutiny directed at its Large Tech friends up to now. However final yr, Slack Technologies filed a complaint in opposition to Microsoft with the European Fee, arguing that the tech big illegally tied its collaboration software program, Microsoft Groups, to its dominant Workplace productiveness software program to attempt to crush Slack, an upstart rival.

“I feel Kanter’s prior expertise can be an asset, not a downside,” stated Charlotte Slaiman, competitors coverage director for Public Information, a client advocacy group.

Mr. Kanter first started learning Google at Microsoft’s behest, when Google’s deliberate acquisition of DoubleClick, an promoting tech firm, was being reviewed by the Federal Commerce Fee in 2007. Microsoft and Mr. Kanter argued that with DoubleClick, Google would have a strong instrument to leverage its sturdy place in search and search promoting into on-line show advertisements — and that the merger ought to be blocked.

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