WASHINGTON – The Senate on Tuesday confirmed Jonathan Kanter, a corporate attorney and big tech critic, the nation’s antitrust leadership, the latest move in efforts to contain the power of the Silicon Valley giants.

In a 68-29 vote, Mr Kanter’s approval to head the Justice Department’s antitrust division occupied a key position in the Biden government. The White House has made it clear that it wants to slow down consolidation in American business, especially among powerful tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.

His confirmation goes to President Biden for final approval.

Mr. Kanter has fought against Google and other tech giants for years – mostly as a lawyer representing competitors like Microsoft, Uber, Yelp and News Corp. He joins other prominent Silicon Valley critics in government positions, including Lina Khan, chairwoman of the Federal Trade Commission, who became famous after writing a thesis in law school arguing a cartel theory against Amazon.

The two antitrust authorities will jointly conduct pioneering proceedings against Google and Facebook.

It is unclear whether Mr Kanter will be asked to withdraw from the Google lawsuit and other investigations that, given his past as a representative of rival companies, could pose a conflict of interest. Amazon and Facebook have asked Ms. Khan, who has never worked for a company, to back off from matters affecting her in the face of her public criticism of the tech giants. The agency said it will not back out of business-related measures.



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