June 28, 2022
RELEASE: New Report Finds Extensive Revolving Door To Corporate Interests Undermines Robust Anti-Monopoly Enforcement
The Revolving Door Project published a new white paper, “The Revolving Door In Federal Antitrust Enforcement,” which presents new evidence of the extent and impact of the revolving door at both the leadership and staff levels between the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and corporate-aligned entities.
June 14, 2022
DOJ Leaders With Actual Conflicts (Unlike Jonathan Kanter) Refuse to Recuse
The attempt to force Assistant Attorney General Kanter’s recusal has nothing to do with ethics and everything to do with the profit margins of Silicon Valley titans.
May 17, 2022
Coalition Tells DOJ: Don’t Bend to Google’s Bullying, Grant Kanter a Recusal Waiver Now
The Revolving Door Project and 27 groups sent a letter to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Friday, urging her to promptly issue a recusal waiver for Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter to work on the Department’s case against Google. The groups, including the American Economic Liberties Project, Demand Progress, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, emphasized that ethics law does not require Jonathan Kanter to recuse and that Google’s attempts to insist otherwise is an effort to “bully regulators into submission.”
May 16, 2022
Coalition Urges DOJ to Grant Jonathan Kanter a Waiver to Lead on Google Cases
We write to you as a coalition of organizations committed to holding anti-competitive behavior accountable. As a decorated antitrust lawyer committed to the public interest, Jonathan S. Kanter has the background needed to be a strong Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice Antitrust Division (DOJ). We are thus alarmed that Mr. Kanter was barred from participating in DOJ scrutiny of Google while the DOJ determines whether to ask for his recusal at the behest of the embattled company. Accordingly, we urge the DOJ to provide Mr. Kanter with a waiver to allow him to participate in DOJ scrutiny of Google’s anti-competitive behavior.
May 11, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Environmental Quality, Justice, Enforcement, Oh My!
Tuesday dawned with the unwelcome news that Antitrust Chief Jonathan Kanter has been indefinitely barred from working on the anti-monopoly case against Google while the Justice Department decides whether his past work representing Google’s critics should require his recusal. This, despite the fact that none of his past clients are parties in the Google case at issue.
April 06, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Separating Biden World Wheat from Chaff
Measured in positions still awaiting permanent appointments, the first presidential transition is still far from over. Of the 799 positions that the Partnership for Public Service included in its political appointee tracker, 117 still lack a nominee. An additional 161 are empty or being filled in an acting capacity as the nominees for them work their way through an ever more dysfunctional Senate confirmation process.
April 05, 2022
Putting Biden’s Antitrust Budget Increases In Context
The federal government may no longer be operating under the onus of Trump-era austerity, but agencies across the federal government are still far from having the resources they need to quickly and effectively fulfill their responsibilities to the American people. For the most part, President Biden’s proposed FY 2023 budget fails to fill that gap. However, increased funding for antitrust regulation is one of the bright spots in an otherwise uninspired budget. As we have covered in the past, both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (ATR) saw staffing levels stagnate and budget allocations that did not keep pace with inflation or GDP growth.
March 31, 2022
Letter to the Center for Judicial Ethics on Big Tech Creating Expert Conflicts of Interest
We are a diverse coalition of advocacy organizations with a strong interest in the fair and neutral application of the law by courts. We write to express our concern about the growing problem of bias and conflicts of interest that arise from Big Tech funding the careers of the legal experts that judges draw on to understand the law and support their decisions. We ask that the Center for Judicial Ethics assist judges to avoid citing to experts and academics with obvious conflicts of interest as they adjudicate the many cases regarding the Big Tech platforms. We further ask that you encourage judges to require comprehensive disclosure by experts hired by Big Tech platforms.
March 28, 2022
Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchTech
The DOJ Should Follow Its Own Guidance on FOIA Administration
The celebration of Sunshine Week earlier this month underscored the importance of the continued effort to ensure effective administration of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and its central role for open democracy. Passed by Congress in 1966, FOIA allows citizens to request unpublished records and information from the federal government. Watchdog organizations have long relied on records obtained from FOIA requests to hold the government accountable to public interests. But, the system comes with a plethora of flaws that prevents adequate timeliness and transparency. Endless backlogs, increased usage of exemptions, partially redacted documents, and outright denials leave much to be desired in the administration of FOIA today.
March 28, 2022
Dylan Gyauch-Lewis Mekedas Belayneh
Anti-MonopolyCongressional OversightCorporate CrackdownExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies
Shipping Cartels Are Spiraling Out Of Control. The Agency Set To Regulate Them Doesn’t See The Problem.
The Federal Maritime Commission’s leaders have no interest in breaking up the shipping conglomerates’ price-gouging which Biden promised the nation.
February 23, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
To Scare Monopolies, DOJ Antitrust Division Needs Reinforcements
The Department of Justice Antitrust Division is once again stepping up its efforts to tackle the corporate greed that is helping to drive the recent spike in inflation. On Thursday, the Department announced that it would be bringing new scrutiny to supply chain profiteers. This is the latest indication that Jonathan Kanter’s Antitrust division is serious about tackling corporate consolidation and its ill-effects across the breadth of the economy. In recent months, the division has also set its sights on BigTech, shipping and rail, and meat, among other industries. It has simultaneously promised to change its approach to enforcement by bringing lawsuits instead of seeking settlements and begun the process of updating the guidelines it uses to review mergers. Altogether, that’s a big agenda.
February 22, 2022
Making The Antitrust Division Competitive: A Look At Capacity As Biden Revitalizes Enforcement
The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division (ATR) is, along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the primary regulator of antitrust law and is responsible for ensuring markets’ competitiveness. In that capacity, it investigates corporate consolidation and allegations of collusion and anticompetitive practices that undermine the free market. ATR is also responsible for supervising mergers and acquisitions to ensure that companies cannot establish monopolies. While both ATR and the FTC share this objective, the two divide jurisdiction based on industry. ATR also investigates and prosecutes criminal antitrust violations.
February 01, 2022
Coalition Calls On Secretary Raimondo to Release Calendars
We write to express our concern about your refusal to release your calendars and its implications for public trust in your department and this administration. As a public servant, the American people have a right to know who you meet with, when you meet with them, and what you discuss. In the absence of proactive disclosure, and with other routes to obtaining this information subject to extensive delays, the public is being left in the dark about who may be influencing the country’s trade and economic policy, and how. This is all the more alarming in light of your recent comments that favored Big Tech and contradicted Biden administration policy. We ask that you immediately address this grave threat to public trust by releasing your calendars, retroactively and at regular intervals moving forward.
January 27, 2022
Letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland Highlights Urgent Need for Resources in the Antitrust Division
The Justice Department plays a key role in President Biden’s vision of promoting “the interests of American workers, businesses, and consumers” through increasing competition, a plan which stands to be one the most enduring legacies of this administration. Your commitment to promote “competition by fairly and vigorously enforcing the antitrust laws,” along with the confirmation of Jonathan Kanter to Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division, are crucial steps forward in this vision.
January 24, 2022
Anti-MonopolyCorporate CrackdownEthics in GovernmentIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door
Corporate Capture’s Circle of Life: The Copyright Office’s New Disney Lawyer
Since the Copyright Office provides expert recommendations and advice to Congress, the executive branch, and the courts, Disney’s recent employees may soon be advising government officials about copyright policy.