- President Biden stacked his administration with “hipster antitrust” advisors who want to take on Big Tech.
- Biden signed an executive order encouraging antitrust agencies to take a more aggressive enforcement approach.
- The tech giants have gone on the offensive, with Amazon pushing for the recusal of the FTC chair.
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With the stroke of a pen, President Joe Biden declared his administration is taking on Big Tech.
He made the move in early July via a sweeping executive order that opened a new front in the federal government’s ongoing battle to rein in 21st century behemoths like Amazon, Facebook, and Google.
Biden’s order established an administration-wide policy that will subject corporate dealmaking to sharper scrutiny, with even completed mergers possibly coming under new review. The Democratic president’s government plans to focus on so-called “killer acquisitions” — deals akin to Facebook’s purchase of WhatsApp and Instagram, in which a larger firm buys up a fledgling competitor.
The tech companies of course won’t just submit to Biden’s will, which means implementing the executive order requires skilled government policymakers steeped in the intricacies of antitrust law. Biden has yet to pick a nominee to run the Justice Department’s antitrust division, and while some top administration jobs remain unfilled, others in the White House and independent agencies like the Federal Trade Commission already are occupied by the president’s political appointees who stand out as vocal critics of corporate power.
A couple of litigious years are ahead, meaning these 7 people will be critical to watch as the Biden administration turns up the heat on the big tech companies of America.