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From left: Michael Kades, Jonathan Kanter and Sally Hubbard. Photos by Flickr; AP

Incoming Antitrust Chief’s Hiring Talks Show Divergence From Khan’s FTC

Photo: From left: Michael Kades, Jonathan Kanter and Sally Hubbard. Photos by Flickr; AP

Since outspoken tech critic Lina Khan took control of the Federal Trade Commission, she has hired law professors, activists and other corporate outsiders to shake up the agency. Jonathan Kanter, another tech critic who is about to become the top antitrust official at the Department of Justice, is taking a different approach to hiring his top deputies.

Kanter is focusing more on lawyers with a traditional background in either the corporate world or the government. Among the people Kanter is talking with, according to multiple people with knowledge of the situation, are Sally Hubbard, a former New York state antitrust prosecutor and journalist; Michael Kades, a former FTC and Hill staffer; and Andrew Forman, another former FTC staffer and Kanter’s longtime colleague at major corporate law firms.

The hiring discussions highlight a subtle but important difference between how Kanter and Khan will approach antitrust enforcement duties. While both are expected to be aggressive enforcers, Khan is proving more willing to break with convention to achieve her ends, while Kanter will likely play it straight. That has important implications for companies whose deals might go before one or other of the agencies.

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