AI news: Google Alleges Antitrust Official's Bias in Ongoing Legal Battle

Google has raised allegations of bias against Jonathan Kanter, the U.S. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust, in an ongoing antitrust case against the tech giant. In a recent filing, Google requested information about Kanter's previous work and advocacy, claiming that his perceived bias violates the company's due process right to a neutral prosecutor.

The case in question, brought by the Department of Justice (DOJ), focuses on Google's dominance in the ad-tech market and was initiated during the Biden administration in January. However, in April, Kanter recused himself from the case after Google retained his former employer, law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP, to represent them.

Google is simultaneously facing another antitrust case brought by the DOJ in 2020 during the Trump administration. This case targets Google's dominance in the search market and is scheduled to go to trial later this month. In both cases, Google vehemently denies allegations of anti-competitive behavior.

The crux of Google's argument lies in Kanter's previous work in private practice, where he represented tech companies, including rival Microsoft, as well as other firms like Yelp and News Corp. Google contends that this background inherently biases him against the company. Furthermore, Google cites public statements made by Kanter prior to assuming his role at the DOJ, which the company believes indicate a pre-judgment that Google had violated antitrust laws.

The DOJ has declined to comment on the matter but previously characterized Google's discovery requests as "unusual, invasive, and irrelevant" in an August memo. The DOJ further argued that claims of Kanter's alleged bias driving the cases against Google are unfounded, pointing out that the government's investigation of the company has spanned different assistant attorneys general and acting assistant attorneys general. The memo underscores the leadership and contributions of numerous career prosecutors within the Antitrust Division.

The allegations of bias add another layer of complexity to the ongoing legal battles between Google and the government. These cases carry significant implications for the tech industry, as they seek to address concerns related to competition and antitrust practices within the digital landscape.

As the legal proceedings continue, the question of impartiality and due process will be closely scrutinized. Google's claims of bias against Kanter underscore the high-stakes nature of these antitrust cases and the need for a fair and impartial legal process to determine their outcomes.