Makan Delrahim, antitrust chief for the Justice Department, should recuse himself from any investigation of Google because he has lobbied for the company, Sen. Elizabeth Warren wrote in a letter to Mr. Delrahim on Tuesday. Ms. Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, has made breaking up big tech companies including Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook a cornerstone of her 2020 presidential campaign. She is unlikely to get what she wants out of Mr. Delrahim, but today’s letter shows that she’s going to keep pushing on big tech, and trying to take advantage of the gathering momentum among federal agencies and Congress for action to restrain Silicon Valley giants.
The DOJ is reportedly preparing to investigate Google and Apple for potential antitrust violations. Ms. Warren writes in her letter that Mr. Delrahim lobbied for Google around its acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007, and that he lobbied for Apple on the topic of patent reform in 2006 and 2007. This “creates the appearance of a conflict of interest,” she writes.
Ms. Warren is asking for an answer from Mr. Delrahim by June 14 on whether he’s considering recusal, though it would be surprising to see him bow out.