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Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Another Big Tech Critic Joins Biden’s Antitrust Team

After six months and much speculation, the White House has finally named someone to lead the antitrust division in the Justice Department: Jonathan Kantor, former Paul Weiss attorney and longtime critic of Big Tech.

If ratified by the Senate, which could take some time, Kantor will lead the division that filed suit against Google last year, alleging it was illegally exercising its monopoly on search ads. is protecting. The division has also been asking questions about Apple’s business practices.

Cantor created an unusual practice for criticizing tech giants from inside corporate law firms. He worked for Microsoft as an attorney at Fried Frank and Cadwallader, helping the tech giant build its case against Google more than a decade ago. Cantor later did the same thing for Yelp. His other clients in cases challenging Big Tech include companies such as News Corp and Spotify.

Kanter’s nomination will appeal to progressives who want to rein in corporate power. a slogan adopted something There were “Wu and Khan and Cantor” after President Biden took office. (it has been on the mug.) It refers to a trio of Big Tech critics that include Tim Wu, now part of Biden’s National Economic Council, and Lena Khan, who now heads the nomination of the FTC Cantor, against antitrust bills by House lawmakers. The suit comes shortly after Big Tech and Biden issued an executive order accusing federal agencies of investigating corporate consolidation and monopoly practices more closely.

Cantor’s past work may raise ethical questions. Both Facebook and Amazon have asked Khan to recuse himself from cases involving the companies in the FTC, even though he has a background as a legal scholar and is not a paid representative for his rivals. (Disqualifying the commissioner isn’t easy.) Asked whether Kantor would recuse himself from matters involving Google and Apple, a White House official said simply that the administration was confident it was his expertise and Looking at the record, he can go ahead with his nomination. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

He has support on both sides of the aisle, Shows bipartisan opposition to Big Tech these days. Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat who leads the Senate antitrust subcommittee, called Cantor “an excellent choice.” Senator Mike Lee, a conservative Republican from Utah, said he was “encouraged” by Cantor’s track record.

But Wall Street couldn’t be happier with the pick, A rumored name given to the Justice Department position, Renata Hesse of Sullivan & Cromwell was seen as friendly to the majors. is on M&A record level, but scrutiny in Washington over the acquisition has spread beyond technology to other industries such as agriculture, health care and insurance. If Kantor is confirmed as the Justice Department’s top trustbuster, will the dealmakers curb his enthusiasm?

Markets are set to maintain their recovery. After yesterday’s big jump, there is a strong rally in stock futures this morning. This suggests that investors are taking solace in vaccination as the economic recovery continues, treating Monday’s passage as a buying opportunity.

Financier and Trump aide Tom Barracks has been arrested. Prosecutors accused the founder of Colony Capital, who headed Donald Trump’s inaugural committee, of publicly promoting the United Arab Emirates agenda without registering as a lobbyist. Over three years, the barracks raised $1.5 billion for the colony from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.

Apple and Morgan Stanley split over return-to-office plans. The iPhone maker delayed its official return by at least a month until October, citing a rise in coronavirus infections. But Morgan Stanley’s chief legal officer urged the firm’s outside law firms to bring their employees back into the office. Meanwhile, Hollywood studios may require mandatory vaccinations on set by September, following a deal with unions.

Wall Street won the NBA Championship. The Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Phoenix Suns in Game 6 of the league final, earning their first championship in 50 years. The final is a big win for MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo — and for the financiers who own the Bucks, including Jamie Dinan of York Capital, Wes Edens of Fortress and Mark Larry of Avenue Capital.

Ken Frazier stepped down as Merck’s CEO last month, but he’s been busy ever since. He remains the pharmaceutical giant’s executive chairman and co-leads OneTen, a start-up that aims to create one million jobs for black Americans. Now, DealBooks First reports, he’s adding another role: venture capitalist.

Frazier will join General Catalyst as President of the Health Assurance Initiative, A new position in which he will focus on healthcare start-ups. This is an area of ​​focus of General Catalyst’s Managing Partner Hemant Taneja, who recently $600 million fund.

“I have encountered a lot of people who are working on what I would call an intersection between technology and life science. In my experience these people are very well versed in digital technology and data science, analytics, machine learning,” Frazier told DealBook. But what’s needed is “people who understand empathy,” he said. “We need people who have a data-based approach as well as a more human-centered approach.”

He was brought onboard by his friend Ken Chenault., who joined the common catalyst The two met at Harvard Law School for the first time as president since retiring as CEO of American Express in 2018. between some Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. Two Keynes recently prompted hundreds of corporate leaders to publicly oppose states’ efforts to limit voting rights.

“As you can imagine, he had myriad options as to what he would do,” Chenault said of the second Kane. “Obviously our personal connection was important, but it wouldn’t have been enough if Ken didn’t have faith in the vision and what we’re trying to do in health care.”

— Jeff Bezos, at a press conference on his return to earth. (More on that below.) After his space flight, Bezos announced that he was giving $100 million each CNN contributor Van Jones and chef Jose Andres for directing the charity toward the charity as part of the “Surprise” philanthropic initiative.

Jeff Bezos reaffirmed his commitment to fighting climate change, kicking off his journey to the edge of space yesterday. “We have to build a road to space so that our children and their children can build the future,” he told MSNBC.

Bezos says space tourism is the first step towards getting people (and polluting industries) into space avoid energy crisis. His fellow billionaire space entrepreneurs like Richard Branson and Elon Musk have also said their companies are the answer to climate change: Musk wants colonizing mars If we ruin the earth.

Critics argue that space tourism will increase emissions rather than save the planet. But the industry is still low on the list of pollutants.

The global space industry uses less than one percent of the propellant as the aviation industry uses fuel. In addition, the rockets that took Branson and Bezos into space are a small part of the amount used, said Martin Ross, a scientist at the Aerospace Corporation, a federally funded research and development center. In recent studyRoss found that space tourism companies may undertake as many as 10,000 suborbital flights per year before the effects of their emissions on the atmosphere begin to approach those of orbiting rockets.

It is not yet properly understood how rocket launches affect the planet. The space industry is the only direct source of emissions in the stratosphere above 20 km. The particles that rockets release can absorb sunlight or reflect sunlight, potentially changing the climate of the stratosphere or affecting the ozone layer.

“We know it’s not a problem anymore,” Ross said, “but we can’t predict how much of this up and down you can do before it becomes a problem.”

Besides whether space tourism will contribute to climate change, space companies cast doubt on claims they can help answer Climate change. Some say Bezos’ approach to colonizing space Impossible, and Bezos himself”long distance problem.“Billionaires Going to Space Need” First consider climate disasters on Earth, argue the critics.

It is absolutely not fair to say that Bezos has overlooked these problems. Although Amazon is a major pollutant, it says it aims to go carbon neutral by 2040 and Bezos has pledged $10 billion of his personal wealth to address climate change. But it is possible to differentiate in ways: are the moons only for space?

what do you think What role can space tourism play in climate change? tell us: [email protected]. Include your name and location and we may feature your feedback in a future newsletter.


  • Cryptocurrency exchange FTX raised $900 million from investors like SoftBank and Sequoia Capital at a valuation of $18 billion. (WSJ)

  • Mining giant BHP is reportedly weighing the sale of its oil and gas business at a valuation of at least $15 billion. (bloomberg)

  • Nasdaq plans to spin off its platform for trading in shares of privately held start-ups in partnership with Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley. (foot)

  • Indian food delivery company Swiggy raised $1.25 billion from investors led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and Prosus. (techcrunch)


  • Fox News hosts are increasingly urging Americans to get vaccinated, but many Republican lawmakers are not following suit. (NYT)

  • Chinese suppliers of Apple and Nike are turning away workers in the Xinjiang region to avoid a US ban on products made from forced labor. (WSJ)

  • Americans have nearly twice as much medical debt as before, and liabilities are greatest where Medicaid was not expanded. (NYT)

  • Washington has dropped opposition to a natural gas pipeline running from Russia to Germany. (WSJ)

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci clashes with Senator Rand Paul over US funding of Wuhan’s virus research facility: “Senator Paul, you don’t know what you’re talking about, and I want to say this officially ” (wapo)

the best of the rest

  • JPMorgan Chase gives Jamie Dimon 1.5 million reasons to stay for many more years. (bloomberg)

  • Carnival expects its cruises to reach 65 percent capacity by the end of this year. (Reuters)

  • “An ‘Airbnb for Pool’ is making a splash this summer” (WSJ)

  • It’s not just deals that are thriving: There’s also a business of making “deal toys” that celebrate transactions. (insider)

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