Corporate America is unloading on Biden’s recently active business watchdogs

WASHINGTON, Nov. 19 (Reuters) – Corporate America on Friday launched new attacks on President Joe Biden’s antitrust enforcers, who have vowed to curb anti-competitive practices and vigorously investigate corporate crime.

The Chamber of Commerce wrote three letters and filed more than 30 Freedom of Information Act requests for what it said was the Federal Trade Commission, which did not strictly follow the rules and gave in to political interference.

The FTC defended itself, saying it would not change course despite criticism from the large business lobby group about a series of actions led 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 newly confirmed head of the department’s antitrust department, to resign from cases related to the search and advertising giant because of his work. for a long list of Google critics.

Kanter had worked for such Google critics as Yelp, which the letter described as “loudly advocating for an antitrust case against Google for years.”

The Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google last year and is believed to be preparing another that focuses on the company’s dominance of online advertising.

The Chamber of Commerce said it was particularly concerned about votes cast by Commissioner Rohit Chopra before leaving the FTC, but which were announced after his departure. He now heads the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

The chamber expressed concern over what it said was the White House interference in the FTC’s decision-making and the agency’s decision to use civilian criminal jurisdiction.

The FTC said it would not change direction.

“The FTC has just announced that we are stepping up efforts to combat corporate crime, and now the chamber is declaring ‘war’ on the agency. We will not withdraw 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 notifications, has been asked to investigate high gasoline prices and is considering an investigation to investigate the role of competition in supply chain disruptions. Read more

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

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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