Questions We’d Like to Ask AAG Jonathan Kanter at Tomorrow’s House Antitrust Subcommittee Oversight Hearing
Tomorrow at 10am the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Antitrust will hold an oversight hearing where Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter is set to testify. Here are some questions we’d encourage members to ask:
Why is the US moving to a European approach to antitrust, when the EU economy has underperformed and there are no great tech successes?
Since you and Chair Khan are sending taxpayer-funded agency officials to Brussels to enforce EU laws, I have a few questions for you about the Digital Markets Act. Will Chinese companies like Alibaba, Baidu, Bytedance, Huawei, Tencent be able to gain access to sensitive business data or user data under the DMA, including data about Americans? Will the DMA require the disclosure of IP and trade secrets to foreign rivals, including Chinese companies?
Why is so much of the DOJ’s Google Search case about Microsoft and how to make life easier and cheaper for Microsoft to compete with Google, when Microsoft is the much larger and better capitalized company?
Mozilla CEO Mitchell Baker recently testified that she thought Mozilla might be forced into a “death spiral” if forced to partner with Microsoft Bing as a result of the DOJ’s case against Google. Do you think it’s appropriate for the Department of Justice to be making business decisions for companies and show favoritism towards certain large monopolies over others?
Tim Wu recently authored a New York Times op-ed entitled “The Google Trial is Going to Rewrite our Future.” Does the DOJ agree with Wu’s statement that “The cases against Google and Meta are, in effect, a distinctively American form of industrial policy”? Is litigation the appropriate vehicle to achieve those policy goals?
Charlie Munger recently told the Wall Street Journal (when asked about the DoJ’s antitrust suit against Google and the FTC’s antitrust suit against Amazon): “I would not break them up…I like these high-tech companies. I think capitalism should expect to get a few big winners by accident.” Did Munger get it wrong?
– George P. Bush recently wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Reagan wouldn’t sue Google– noting that the government hasn’t brought a single consumer to testify in that case. Is it the government’s role to intervene in the market through these types of lawsuits?
On October 25, the USTR announced that it would withdraw support at the World Trade Organization for trade rules on data flows, data localization, protection of source code, and non-discriminatory treatment of digital products. USTR also appears to have removed these trade rules from other upcoming agreements, including the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, and agreements with the UK and Latin America.
– To what extent has the DOJ antitrust division been involved in and supportive of USTR’s decision to remove these trade rules?
– Did the DOJ and the FTC send a letter earlier this year asking USTR to remove these rules and stand down on addressing foreign digital trade barriers?
– Did the DOJ’s antitrust division ask USTR to remove due process and consumer welfare safeguards from upcoming trade agreements?
– Has there been any communications between Antitrust Division staff that were formerly employed by the American Economic Liberties Project or the Open Markets Institute and USTR staff that were formerly employed by either of these organizations?
The FTC and DOJ proposed revisions to the merger guidelines and the HSR form, which pose issues to businesses and consumers. We want to understand their goals.
– How do the proposed changes in the HSR premerger notification requirements impact businesses in terms of time and labor costs, and what challenges might they face in preparing the notifications?
– Considering the concerns raised by notable law firms, what specific practical implications do the expanded HSR notification and report form have for businesses, and how might these changes influence the merger landscape for companies and consumers?
– Experts have raised concerns that these actions overlook the latest evidence related to vertical mergers and fail to integrate insights from recent legal cases. How might the lack of bipartisan support for the FTC and DOJ’s new antitrust guidelines impact the credibility, independence, and expertise of federal agencies?
The DOJ is defying years of antitrust precedent by attacking the services Americans depend on daily. These questions will give lawmakers and consumers the opportunity to uncover the DOJ’s flawed approach to antitrust oversight.