Google asked the Justice Department on Friday to investigate whether its new top antitrust officer, who has represented Google rivals, should step down from inquiries and lawsuits against the company.

In a letter to Justice Department executives, an outside Google attorney said that Jonathan Kanter’s previous work for the company’s critics “pretty much challenges the reality and semblance of bias.” Google referred to its collaboration with Yelp and the News Media Alliance, which represents publishers such as The New York Times Company.

“Mr. Kanter’s previous statements and his work as a representative of competitors who campaigned on the cases filed by the division raise serious concerns about his ability to be impartial,” Peter Schottenfels, a Google spokesman, said in an explanation.

Herr Kanter, who was confirmed by the Senate Earlier this week, as the Assistant Attorney General for antitrust law, he was a long-time behind-the-scenes actor building arguments against tech giants.

Google’s attorney said Mr. Kanter represented Yelp in connection with an antitrust proceeding against Google that was led by a group that included the Justice Department. Google also alleged that Mr. Kanter represented critics in an investigation – led by Texas – in its ad technology business.

The Justice Department declined to comment. Mr Kanter did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday.

The request is the latest attempt by a technology company to discredit the regulators who are conducting antitrust investigations into their practices. Facebook has called for Lina Khan, chairman of the Federal Trade Commission and a prominent technology critic, to withdraw from the agency’s lawsuit against the company. Amazon has also requested that Ms. Khan be excluded from an antitrust investigation of the company.

While federal officials are supposed to avoid real or perceived conflicts of interest, experts have said Mr Kanter’s situation may be different as he doesn’t switch sides in the Google cases. Instead, a Google opponent on behalf of private customers is asking him about similar concerns on behalf of the government.

Google also said that Mr. Kanter had made previous criticisms of Google that indicated that he had “prejudiced” whether it was violating antitrust laws. If Mr. Kanter is not rejected, “it could also contribute to suggestions that the actions of the department could be inappropriately influenced by Google’s competitors,” said Google attorney Virginia Gibson of the law firm Hogan Lovells.



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