Democrats Turn On Tech Giant

United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)

( – Two congressional Democrats have called on Google to stop bullying the DOJ’s new antitrust chief in an attempt to have him recuse himself from matters regarding the tech giant.

In the letter Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Pramila Jayapal wrote to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai, the lawmakers appealed to the company to cease their attempts to “strip Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of his authority.” Their request comes after Google appealed to have the DOJ examine if Kanter should recuse himself from government activity regarding the tech giant, as he was an established critic of Google.

In a statement, Google claimed that Kanter’s previous actions, statements, and representations were concerning, saying that Kanter supervising the DOJ’s actions regarding Google “may not satisfy the requirement that those actions be fair and impartial.”

A spokesperson for the tech giant also emphasized that Kanter’s “past statements and work representing competitors” who had advocated that the Department investigate Google were concerning, leading to doubts “about his ability to be impartial.”

Following these statements, Warren and Jayapal said that Google’s request was an effort to “bully regulators and avoid accountability” as the two pointed out, other tech giants –– Amazon and Facebook –– had also done.

The two would go on to argue that federal ethics law meant Kanter had no obligation to recuse himself on matters linked to the company, adding that Google’s questioning of Kanter’s impartiality was “unfair and inappropriate.”

These comments center around a lawsuit filed against Google by the DOJ’s antitrust division, which alleges Google employs exclusionary tactics to retain its monopoly on search engines, claims the company denies.

This is not the first time a tech giant has requested a Biden administration regulator removed from an investigation.

Last year, Amazon requested that FTC chairwoman Lina Khan no longer participate in antitrust investigations given her history accusing the company of alleged violations, a claim Facebook also made.

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