Antitrust boss who may investigate Apple used to lobby for … Apple

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Big pile of cash underneath an Apple logo.
Elizabeth Warren says the current antitrust boss for the DOJ used to lobby on behalf of tech giants.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Senator Elizabeth Warren has asked the Justice Department’s antitrust chief to recuse himself from investigating Apple and Google.

The Democratic 2020 presidential candidate said that Makan Delrahim has a conflict of interest. This is due to his history lobbying for the two companies.

According to Warren, Delrahim was hired by Google in 2007 to lobby federal antitrust officials. This was when Google proposed acquiring online ad company DoubleClick. He was paid an estimated $100,000 by Google that year.

He was also reportedly hired by Apple in 2006 and 2007 to lobby regarding patent reform issues.

“As the head of the antitrust division at the DOJ, you should not be supervising investigations into former clients who paid you tens of thousands of dollars to lobby the federal government,” said Warren.

Investigating the tech giants

The U.S. government is reportedly getting ready to investigate whether the biggest tech giants abuse their market position. President Trump alluded to this issue in an interview given Monday. Speaking to CNBC, he referenced the massive fines levied against such companies by the EU.

The Justice Department will supposedly investigate Apple and Google. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission will investigate Amazon and Facebook.

Elizabeth Warren has been a vocal proponent of striking back against the tech giants’ ever increasing power. In 2016, Apple of abusing its control of the App Store to hinder competition. More recently, she proposed breaking up tech giants, including Apple. She said that these companies have, “bulldozed competition.”

According to a recent report, Apple spent $9.6 million on lobbying last year. It has spent a total of $59.9 million since 2005.

Source: Reuters