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September 30, 2021

Letter

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Coalition Calls on DOJ to Give Kanter "Sufficient Independence and Discretion"

We write to you as a broad coalition of organizations committed to holding corporations that engage in anti-competitive behavior accountable. For far too long, Washington has sat by as technology industry giants have accumulated monopoly power at the expense of consumers and competitors alike. The nomination of Jonathan Kanter to serve as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division is a strong step toward turning President Joe Biden’s vision of an open economy into reality.

September 01, 2021 | The New Republic

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Big Tech’s Attacks on Biden’s Anti-Monopoly Regulators Are a Joke

In a move cheered by progressives and antitrust reformers, President Biden has nominated Jonathan Kanter to serve as assistant attorney general for antitrust. Kanter’s nomination, alongside that of Lina Khan to lead the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year, is the latest sign that this administration is, for the first time in generations, fiercely committed to enforcing antitrust laws. However, this generation’s most notorious monopolies—Amazon, Facebook, and Google—are making it vividly clear that they will try anything to retain their power. That apparently includes lobbing poorly reasoned, transparently bad faith calls for their newly anointed foes to recuse themselves from relevant cases.

July 22, 2021

Timi Iwayemi Fatou Ndiaye

Report

Anti-MonopolyIndependent AgenciesIntellectual PropertyPharmaTrade Policy

The Industry Agenda: Big Pharma

In 2019, Gallup found that the pharmaceutical industry was “the most poorly regarded industry in Americans’ eyes,” and rightfully so. Pharmaceutical companies often set drug prices exorbitantly high, including life-saving drugs which patients literally cannot go without, such as insulin. This includes older drugs that are cheaper to produce — such as epinephrine (emergency medication used to treat severe allergic reactions and asthma attacks). These firms achieve this by stifling competition at the consumer’s expense, jealously protecting their money-makers from the generics which the pharmaceutical system is supposed to develop after a patent expires.

May 28, 2021

Andrea Beaty Henry Burke

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyFTCGovernment Capacity

Hobbled FTC Lacks Budget To Combat Corporate Buying Spree

Progressives have been encouraged by President Biden’s choices of anti-monopoly leadership in Lina Khan, Tim Wu, and (potentially) Jonathan Kanter. But in the interregnum between personnel announcements and actual confirmations, corporations are getting as many transactions done now as possible. And while the Biden Administration seems on the precipice of reining in the power of Big Tech and other monopolists soon, the FTC, one of the two agencies charged with enforcing antitrust law, continues to be hobbled by chronic underfunding.

April 19, 2021 | The Daily Beast

Miranda Litwak

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

Silicon Valley’s Favorite Fixer Aims to Stop the Rising Left

But the old guard continues to wield significant power and will be hard pressed to admit defeat, as exemplified by political strategist Bradley Tusk’s continued success. Some might recall Tusk as New York Mayor Bill De Blasio’s biggest critic. Others know him best as Silicon Valley’s favorite political fixer. Teachers’ unions probably remember him comparing them to the NRA. Tusk’s particular brand of politics—lobbying against regulation on behalf of companies he then invests in—in some ways represents the last gasp of corporate control over government that has run rampant since the Reagan era.

March 31, 2021

Andrea Beaty

Blog Post

Anti-MonopolyDepartment of Justice

Facebook Strengthens Defenses Against Break Up By Hiring Another DOJ Antitrust Official

Another day, another former antitrust enforcer defecting for the corporate world. In the months since President Joe Biden promised to pursue more aggressive antitrust enforcement, former antitrust officials have become an even hotter commodity in the private sector. Douglas Rathbun is the latest official to jump ship from the increasingly central world of antitrust enforcement to the more lucrative world of defending the status quo. Rathbun is a former counsel for the Antitrust Division’s Office of Legal Policy and has advised the Division on administrative and regulatory matters as well as guided nominees to senior leadership positions. According to his LinkedIn, Rathbun elected to cut out the BigLaw middleman and join a corporation directly: this month he joined Facebook to work on public policy.

March 16, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

Revolver Spotlight: Einer Elhauge

Reports that Harvard Law Professor Einer Elhauge is being considered for a role in the Biden Administration should be treated with extreme caution due to his history of ties to Big Tech and work for the Republican Florida legislature in 2000. Although we at RDP applaud Elhauge’s recent pivot to support strengthening antitrust laws, we urge the Biden Administration to hold appointees to the highest possible standard. In particular, helping promulgate the absurd theory in 2000 that state legislatures can overrule elections conducted under laws they have passed should be disqualifying for any individual attempting to serve in the Biden Administration.