A Senate committee on Thursday accredited a critic of the tech giants to guide the Justice Division’s antitrust division, sending his nomination to the total Senate for a last vote.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted for Jonathan Kanter’s nomination to guide the division with out taking a depend of how every lawmaker voted. However one Republican senator, John Cornyn of Texas, requested to be marked down as voting in opposition to the nomination.
Mr. Kanter stated throughout his affirmation listening to that he supported “vigorous antitrust enforcement within the expertise space.” As a lawyer in non-public follow, Mr. Kanter has represented critics of Google, Fb, Amazon and Apple — serving to them make the antitrust case in opposition to the tech giants.
If confirmed by the total Senate, as is extensively anticipated, he’ll be part of different critics of Silicon Valley in key antitrust positions. Lina Khan, a younger authorized scholar who wrote a well-liked critique of Amazon, leads the Federal Commerce Fee. One other scholar who argues for larger antitrust enforcement in opposition to main firms, Tim Wu, holds an financial coverage position on the White Home.
A number of lawmakers praised Mr. Kanter on Thursday, saying he was the suitable particular person to deal with issues with company focus all through the financial system.
“We consider in permitting the markets to work,” stated Senator Amy Klobuchar, Democrat of Minnesota. “And the markets aren’t actually working very well proper now for some folks.’
Mr. Cornyn, who voted in opposition to the nomination, stated he shared Mr. Kanter’s considerations concerning the tech business however frightened he would extra broadly “use antitrust instruments as a hammer to attain political or social ends.”
Critics of Mr. Kanter have additionally questioned whether or not he may find yourself prosecuting instances he inspired as a lawyer for rivals of the tech giants. The Justice Division has already sued Google, arguing it illegally maintained its monopoly over on-line search. And it’s investigating whether or not Apple has violated antitrust legal guidelines.