Large technology companies have faced increased pressure from the U.S. government over potentially anti-competitive practices.
A new White House appointee could mean renewed pressure on Alphabet Inc. GOOG GOOGL.
What Happened: The White House announced the appointment of Jonathan Kanter to lead the Department of Justice antitrust division.
Kanter has a history of fighting against Google, TechCrunch points out. Kanter is a lawyer who represented Yelp Inc YELP against Google and specializes in antitrust enforcement.
“Throughout his career, Kanter has also been a leading advocate and expert in the effort to promote strong and meaningful antitrust enforcement and competition policy,” the White House said in a release.
If approved, Kanter will help lead the Department of Justice’s lawsuit against Google, originally filed by the Justice Department under former President Donald Trump.
Why It’s important: Elizabeth Warren, one of the Senators who has been the most vocal about breaking up big tech companies, tweeted in support of the appointment.
Warren called it “tremendous news” and called Kanter “a leader in the fight to check consolidated corporate power and strengthen competition in our markets.
Kanter also authored a 2016 New York Times op-ed arguing Google relies on an “anti-competitive playbook” to maintain its strong lead in areas like search.
Biden appointed Lina Khan as the FTC chair. Khan has been a vocal critic of Amazon.com Inc AMZN and led to the e-commerce company calling for her to not be used in a case against the company.
The battle between the White House and big technology companies looks far from over.
GOOGL Price Action: Class A Alphabet shares were up 0.38% to $2,560.73 on Thursday, nearing a 52-week high of $2,659.92.
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