Top lawyer Biden and his views on Apple and Google

Almost as soon as Kanter took office in November 2021, he made it clear he wanted a different approach. He inherited many cases from his predecessor, and instead of going through the most common – and cheap – way to solve them, he announced that he would bring them to court to stop them altogether. combined. (The successful case against Penguin Random House was that Simon & Schuster had filed before it had even begun.)

In his hard work, he had an ally across town: Khan, who was confirmed as FTC chair five months ago. While the DOJ and the FTC have different budgets and tools — the FTC polices most of the consumer scandals, and the DOJ has the power to bring criminal charges — there is less of a cloud. between Kanter and Khan against antitrust, or their strong focus on the monopoly risk of global technology companies.

Kanter’s tenure is a “significant departure” from his predecessors, said Alex Harman, director of government affairs, antitrust and competition at the Economic Security Project, the progressive policy group. started by Meta co-founder Chris Hughes. “When you bring up hard cases you create an obstacle against organized crime and law breakers,” Harman said.

His reign began with a string of losses. Since Kanter’s administration, the government failed to find challenges in the merger between the sugar producers, the insurance company United Health Care of the use of an important technology company that is important to its opponents and the agreement of Booz Allen Hamilton for a national defense contract. The DOJ is appealing the sugar and UnitedHealth decision, although the Booz Allen case was dismissed.

The DOJ also lost its first cases challenging labor market collusion, and failed to win charges in an unprecedented three consecutive lawsuits against a group of poultry industry executives for pricing.

His first big win didn’t come until Halloween when a judge sided with the DOJ in blocking the Penguin deal. Not only did it block a deal that would have boosted the world’s largest printer, but it also confirmed the department’s new argument about. how come the trade should be blocked: Instead of just focusing on harming consumers, it also focused on the possibility of harming authors, who will have fewer choices and less competition to publish their books.

In the department, the decision came as a welcome relief, according to many people in the antitrust sector. In the lead-up to Penguin’s decision, there was internal concern that if the DOJ lost, it would have to rethink the group’s strategy, the people said.

The DOJ is also there start to break It’s a payment system for chicken farmers who have been saying it’s a scam for decades, and it’s dusting off a law that’s not being used by regarding conflicts of interest among directors on boards of directors. It is also pushing to revive a long-dormant law that would outlaw monopoly ownership, including a recent issue against a violent organization with ties to a Mexican drug cartel.

In a recent incident, where he was interviewed by the Rule, Kanter expressed the difficulty of the task, but showed his approach as a long game. “I have faith in our justice system,” he said. “(If) we do our job, which is to explain the concepts of damages based on economic facts, based on legal and technical beliefs, we will see the kind of success that we have seen in the Penguin case. But it’s a living, breathing system.”

It can be very expensive and time-consuming for the government, since they run the most highly financed companies in the world. The challenge can happen only this year: Although Kanter did not bring a big technological case, in addition to the pending Google case. POLITICO reports A complaint against Apple is also in the works.

Kanter currently employs a litigation team that challenges multiple mergers and raises complex cases challenging corporate governance in the economy. . The department reportedly has several other targets in its sights, including pending investigations of Visa, Ticketmaster, the food packaging industry, and merger reviews that include Adobe and JetBlue.

And these things are known to the public. “A lot of the department’s work is like a glacier,” Kanter’s chief executive, Doha Mekki, said at a recent conference in Salt Lake City, when asked when DOJ will bring more jurisdictional cases. “I suspect you’re going to see a lot of movement at that point, especially as (Kanter) gets past his first year and focuses more on proving the strength of the roster that he’s been explaining to the public.”

To achieve that, Kanter is focused on expanding the expertise of the group beyond the lawyers and economists who fill his position. This includes the recent hiring of the group’s first chief technology officer, Laura Edelson, with plans to build a team of experts under her. “We believe it’s important to have the many skills needed to do the research that goes along with a competitive or compelling research,” Kanter said in the interview, “and so we’re building on that.” , almost like a business school.”

Kanter has also consulted longtime employees for input, asking the group to revisit issues rejected by previous leaders, according to a person familiar with the plan. Kanter used these one-on-one meetings with staff to help build support for his vision for the group’s work.

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