Corporate America dumps on Biden’s new business watchdogs


WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – U.S. companies on Friday launched fresh attacks on President Joe Biden’s antitrust law enforcement officials, who have pledged to curb anti-competitive practices and vigorously investigate corporate crimes. business.

The Chamber of Commerce wrote three letters and filed more than 30 Freedom of Information Act requests for what it called the Federal Trade Commission failure to strictly follow the rules and give in to the interference. Politics.

The FTC defended itself, saying it would not change course despite criticism from the big business lobby group over a series of actions by FTC President Lina Khan.

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Also on Friday, Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) asked the US Department of Justice to consider requiring Jonathan Kanter, the new confirmed head of the department’s antitrust division, to recuse himself from questions relating to the giant. of research and publicity due to his work for a long list of Google reviewers.

Kanter had worked for Google critics like Yelp, which the letter described as “vehemently arguing for an antitrust case against Google for years.”

The Justice Department filed an antitrust complaint against Google last year and is reportedly preparing a second one focused on the company’s dominance over online advertising.

The Chamber of Commerce expressed particular concern at the votes cast by Commissioner Rohit Chopra before his departure from the FTC but which were announced after his departure. He now heads the United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The chamber expressed concern over what it said was White House interference in FTC decision-making and the agency’s decision to use the power of civil sanction.

The FTC has said it will not change direction.

“The FTC has just announced that we are stepping up our efforts to fight corporate crime and now the chamber is declaring ‘war’ on the agency. We are not going to back down because corporate lobbyists are making threats. “said FTC spokesman Peter Kaplan.

The agency has filed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of violating antitrust law, tightened some merger reviews, has been asked to investigate high gasoline prices, and is considering a study to probe the role of competition in supply chain disruptions. Read more

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Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Edmund Blair and Leslie Adler

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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