Senate Confirms Biden’s Pick to Head DOJ Antitrust Division

By Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan Pentchoukov
Ivan has reported for The Epoch Times on a variety of topics since 2011.
November 16, 2021 Updated: November 16, 2021

The Senate voted 68-29 on Tuesday evening to confirm President Joe Biden’s nominee to lead the antitrust division of the Department of Justice.

Once sworn in, Jonathan Kanter will replace Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard Powers, who has led the Antitrust Division since February.

Biden had previously installed prominent antitrust expert Tim Wu to lead technology and competition policy at the White House and monopoly hawk Lina Khan at the head of the Federal Trade Commission.

Kanter joins the administration at a time when there appears to be bipartisan interest in checking tech giants including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Apple. The companies have repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

Biden in July signed an executive order directing the federal government to protect competition in the labor market, the health care industry, broadband internet, and other key fields. The order created the 16-agency White House Competition Council. Headed by the National Economic Council Chair Brian Deese, the council is tasked with overseeing the implementation of Biden’s order.

Kanter has spent years representing rivals of Google, which the DOJ sued last year alleging that it broke antitrust law in seeking to hobble search engine rivals. The department is preparing to file a second lawsuit focused on Google’s online advertising business. Google has denied wrongdoing.

In the past year, DOJ sued to stop Penguin Random House’s $2.2 billion deal for Simon & Schuster and to halt a partnership between American Airlines Group Inc and JetBlue Airways Corp.

Kanter, 48, worked as an attorney at the Federal Trade Commission from 1998 to 2000. He worked in the private sector ever since and founded his own law firm last year.

He was born in New York City and received his law degree from the Washington University School of Law.

“Jonathan Kanter is a distinguished antitrust lawyer with over 20 years of experience,” the White House said in announcing Kanter’s nomination in July. “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.”

Reuters contributed to this report.

Ivan has reported for The Epoch Times on a variety of topics since 2011.