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The Rot Is Deeper Than You Think at the Department of Justice

The rot at the U.S. Department of Justice is even deeper than just the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) ignoring threats against Supreme Court justices while intimidating parents that protested decisions by their local school boards. It’s reached the DOJ’s Antitrust Division – and the effect may dismantle the internet Americans rely on every day. 

The Antitrust Division, traditionally a bastion of impartial law enforcement, is under siege by Biden’s progressives. Jonathan Kanter, its chief, is busy reshaping this crucial institution into a tool for his ideological crusade, rather than upholding its time-honored role as a neutral enforcer.

Kanter isn’t just moving the goalposts—he’s playing rugby while we’re all kicking around a soccer ball. In place of impartial justice, he’s pitching radical antitrust reforms that extend beyond the tech industry and threaten the entire economy. 

Kanter’s rallying cry is a claim of Google’s monopoly on ads and search. But a brief look beyond the confines of this vendetta reveals a market overflowing with competition. Google is but one player among many. From social media businesses like Instagram and Snap to online shopping at Walmart and Target, competition is just a click away. Furthermore, emerging search engines like DuckDuckGo and Bing are just a couple of the services providing alternatives for users seeking a different search experience.

The merits of this case disintegrate under scrutiny. It’s not about protecting consumers or ensuring a competitive market—it’s about breaking up Google. But to what end? The end here seems to be to push consumers to use certain tools that the DOJ prefers they use, rather than being able to choose the tools in the marketplace that consumers prefer.

There’s a mistaken belief that dismantling Google would somehow lead to a more competitive and innovative environment. This notion disregards the tremendous value and services Google provides to consumers, “meeting consumers where they are” and “meeting the most important needs” in their lives, according to Prophet’s 2023 Relentlessly Relevant Brands Survey. The integration of various services, from email to document storage to search, is a boon, not a bane, to consumers. Breaking apart Google won’t spark innovation—it will punish the consumers who love it. 

And let’s talk about the elephant in the room: Kanter’s glaring conflict of interest. Before joining the DOJ, Kanter was on Microsoft and Yelp’s payroll, spearheading their lawsuits against Google. Now he’s back with the same case. But this time, the lawsuit has the weight of the federal government, and American tax dollars are paying Kanter’s legal fees. 

Kanter’s actions bear an uncanny resemblance to another disturbing trend in Biden’s administration: the weaponization of federal agencies to pursue progressive policy goals. Americans see this in FTC Chair Lina Khan, who is under congressional scrutiny for allegedly overstepping her authority and pursuing meritless antitrust lawsuits as part of a partisan agenda.

Who are the real victims of all this? American consumers. Increased regulation and the breakup of efficient, loved and well-regarded companies spells disaster for us through decreased innovation, higher prices and fewer choices.

The alarm bells are ringing loud and clear. American antitrust laws are not tools to dismantle successful companies for political agendas or personal grievances. They exist to protect consumers and promote competition. Under Kanter’s guidance, the DOJ’s Antitrust Division has strayed far from its purpose, becoming a vehicle for his personal, ideological agenda.

Worse yet, this isn’t a solo act. It’s a key feature of the Biden administration. The FTC and DOJ are helping to push our economy to the brink, threatening to shatter American businesses. FTC Chair Lina Khan’s policies, shaped in a bubble devoid of private sector experience high from the ivory tower, jeopardize American jobs. Add Kanter’s controversial tactics to the mix, and America’s got a ticking time bomb of personnel problems.

But their ambitions aren’t limited to tech alone. They’re looking at everything in the American economy, from employment practices, to how companies offer bulk discounts, like the ones at Costco and Sam’s Club, which will impact millions of consumers. 

Fortunately, House Republicans are gearing up to challenge these agencies and demand answers. They’re fighting to stop dogma and personal ambition with fact-based governance and rule of law.

Kanter’s power play at the DOJ has wider repercussions. It could shake the very foundations of our economy. The FTC and DOJ should remain impartial enforcers of the law, not launchpads for personal vendettas or radical change. It’s time for our representatives in Congress to quell this storm and restore balance and justice to these critical institutions.