Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland hopes to tap a former Facebook lawyer as the leader of the DOJ’s antitrust division, according to a report released Thursday.
The Intercept reported Thursday that Garlands hopes to install Susan Davies, a former Facebook lawyer, to lead the antitrust division.
Davies represented Facebook in a lawsuit brought by an advertiser, Sambreel Holdings LLC, contending that Facebook kicked it off the tech giant’s platform after Facebook lured away all of its clients and banned users from downloading it.
Davies has also reportedly worked for clients to facilitate mergers, fending off antitrust enforcement.
The Intercept wrote that Garland’s potential hiring of lawyers such as Davies could prove insufficient in their task of preventing consolidation and anticompetitive behavior.
The outlet reported:
But when it comes to antitrust enforcement, the framework in place during the Obama years proved to be insufficient to the task of slowing or reversing consolidation across sectors. Simply installing talented members of the legal establishment will lead to the same failures without a serious rethinking of antitrust policy.
Garland’s potential hiring of Davies would appear to stand in contrast to Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign platform.
Biden’s campaign said in 2020 that he would work with Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI), who led an antitrust investigation in the House.
“The report recommended broad changes to laws that would punish big companies, such as making it illegal for Amazon and Google to give greater preference to their own products over competitors’ merchandise on their platforms. The recommendations also included expanding federal regulators’ powers to block future tech mergers,” the Washington Post noted last week.
Zephyr Teachout, author of Break ‘Em Up and a big tech critic, said in January, “Bringing in anybody from Big Tech to a leadership role in antitrust is a political, policy, and managerial disaster. We know how the revolving door works. The ideology of big companies shapes the ideology of government.”