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Two Obama Officials Are Frontrunners For Biden’s Top Antitrust Job

President-elect Joe Biden is looking at two ex-President Barack Obama officials to run the top antitrust job at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Reuters reported.

One pick might be Renata Hesse, who has served numerous stints at the DOJ since 2002 and was acting attorney general from mid-2016 through January 2017, according to Reuters.

Hesse has also held roles in the private sector, and she has acted as an adviser in various matters with Apple, Google and others, including on Amazon‘s recent $13 billion buyout of grocery chain Whole Foods, Reuters reported. She is currently a partner at Sullivan & Cromwell, a New York-based law firm.

Also, another ex-Obama official is Juan Arteaga, who worked for the DOJ from 2013 to 2017. He served as the deputy assistant attorney general for Civil Enforcement, according to Reuters. Arteaga, like Hesse, has worked private-sector jobs, having advised companies like J.P. Morgan Chase and AT&T.

There are other names being considered, such as Jonathan Kanter, who was co-chair of the antitrust department at the law firm Paul Weiss and now runs his own firm. Reuters reported that he has been a robust critic of Big Tech and Google, and that progressive groups favor him as a choice as they look for better ways to fight antitrust concerns.

Antitrust has become a prominent issue for the Biden team, Reuters reported. Biden’s transition agency review team for the Federal Trade Commission and the DOJ met Nov. 18 with progressives to talk about antitrust ideas.

PYMNTS reported that Big Tech is likely to see more pressure from the Biden administration, as Biden comes into an environment where unemployment is still high and a slew of antitrust suits against companies like Google and Facebook have already begun. Biden has also called for the creation of a Public Credit Reporting Agency within the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) in which nontraditional data sources like utility bill payments would be tapped to help lenders in making decisions.

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