In an eyebrow-raising move, the Department of Justice recently announced that Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter has been cleared to lead an investigation into whether Google has knowingly participated in anti-competitive behaviors violating the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890.

Critics of the move, including Google itself, point out that during Kanter’s recent years in private practice, he represented a long list of the company’s competitors, such as Microsoft and Yelp. During this time, he advocated for an “antitrust case against Google,” which should have prevented him from leading the investigation since it represents a conflict of interest.

Justice’s decision has important implications for U.S. v. Google, which is set to go to trial in September. That case stems from a 2020 Justice complaint against Google alleging that the company has for “many years, unfairly maintained and extended monopolies” over important markets like “general search services.”

Published in its entirety in Inside Sources.