February 5, 2020
The Justice Department’s antitrust chief steps away from investigating Google.
Makan Delrahim will no longer be responsible for examining potential anti-competitive practices by the search giant, reportedly due to a conflict of interests, according to The New York Times.
- "As the technology review progressed, Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim revisited potential conflicts with previous work with the Department of Justice's ethics office," a Justice Department spokesman told The Times. "He and the ethics office have decided that he should now recuse himself from a matter within the tech review in an abundance of caution."
- The decision comes months after Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for him to step down, saying, "Any reasonable person would surely question your impartiality in antitrust matters involving Google." She has claimed that, as a private lawyer, Delrahim was paid $100,000 to lobby for Google's (successful) acquisition of the ad-tech firm DoubleClick.
- This isn't the first time Delrahim has courted controversy: Last year, a lawsuit revealed text messages that suggested he may have helped Sprint and T-Mobile get their merger approved.