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Key Senate Committees Should Reject Antitrust Enforcement Nominees with Ties to Big Tech, 24 Groups Say

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senate committees with jurisdiction over antitrust enforcement should reject Big Tech executives, lobbyists, lawyers, and consultants who are nominated for senior antitrust enforcement roles in the Biden administration, Public Citizen, the American Economic Liberties Project and 22 other groups said in a letter sent today to U.S. Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.).

“We believe that eliminating the decades-old revolving door between Silicon Valley and our antitrust agencies will not only help deliver just outcomes to American workers, consumers, and businesses, but help restore trust in the integrity of government,” the letter reads.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) recently joined a group of state attorneys general in filing an historic antitrust suit against Google, and bipartisan groups of states have filed two additional suits. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) also filed an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook in late 2020, and the same day a coalition of state attorneys general filed their own Facebook antitrust lawsuit. Both agencies reportedly are investigating Amazon and Apple as well.

Top appointees to the DOJ or FTC with ties to Big Tech would have to recuse themselves from these resource-intensive, high-profile suits, and would jeopardize the historic bipartisan state-level efforts currently underway.

“We can’t risk losing ground by appointing sympathetic enforcers,” the letter notes.

Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google are widely understood to wield monopoly power in ways that harm consumers, workers, independent businesses, and democracy itself. Recent polling by the Pew Research Center shows that nearly half of Americans want to see the government step in and regulate Big Tech. And additional polling by Data for Progress and the American Economic Liberties Project found that substantial majorities of Americans did not want the Biden administration to appoint individuals who had worked on behalf of Big Tech while these investigations and court cases are pending.