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US: DOJ taps prominent lawyer for Big Tech probe

 |  October 24, 2019

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has bolstered the staff for its investigation into potential antitrust violations against Big Tech, adding Ryan Shores, a former partner in an international law firm.

Reuters reported that Shores, who comes from the firm of Shearman & Sterling, will help with the probe of Google, Facebook and other notable technology companies. He will be joining the office of the deputy attorney general, which heads the antitrust division.

Shores is a former Supreme Court clerk who worked under Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist on antitrust issues.

In July, the DOJ announced a probe to determine whether Big Tech violated antitrust law. The department did not name specific companies, but said they were related to “search, social media and some retail services online.”

Shores’ official title will be associate deputy attorney general and senior advisor for technology industries.

“The addition of Associate Deputy Attorney General Ryan A. Shores for this important role reflects the significance of the department’s review of competitive conditions among online platforms,” said Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey A. Rosen. “His years of high-stakes antitrust and litigation expertise will bring invaluable experience to the review as he works closely with our antitrust division.”

Last month, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent a letter to the Justice Department complaining about the DOJ’s behavior in regard to the investigations and voicing concerns about the recent interactions between the two agencies.

Sen. Mike Lee of Utah, the chairman of the Senate subcommittee on antitrust matters, said he planned to ask about the letter at a hearing, where FTC Chairman Joe Simons and DOJ Antitrust Chief Makan Delrahim were expected to testify.

“Sen. Lee is aware of the letter, and he intends to inquire at tomorrow’s oversight hearing about whether the clearance process between the agencies is working and, if not, whether the FTC and DOJ are engaging in duplicative investigations,” noted a spokesman for Lee.

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