Extra tech managers than tech critics on the Biden transition staff


© Reuters. US President-elect Biden is leaving after spending the day at his interim headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware


By Nandita Bose and David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Far more technology company executives than outright technology critics were appointed to US President-elect Joe Biden's transition team on Tuesday to provide guidance on who will play key roles in the years ahead and ultimately influence the thinking of his administration.

Tech companies have tried to strengthen their relationship with a future Biden administration to ensure they have a voice in a rush of federal and state investigations into their business practices.

The Biden transition team released a list of the agency review teams on Tuesday.

Tom Sullivan of Amazon.com Inc (O :), a senior public policy officer, will be part of Biden's review team overseeing the State Department. Similarly, Mark Schwartz of Amazon's cloud computing arm, who is also a former Obama administration official, will weigh decisions for the Office of Management and Budget.

Nicole Isaac, Senior Director, North America Policies at Microsoft (O 🙂 LinkedIn (NYSE :), is part of the team overseeing the Treasury Department.

Nicole Wong, a former deputy chief technology officer led by Democratic President Barack Obama and Alphabet-owned Vice President and General Counsel of Google (O :), found a place on the National Security Council's review team.

In contrast, technology critics like Gene Kimmelman, senior advisor to Public Knowledge in Washington, who focuses on areas like antitrust, will be on the Justice Department's review team, and Sarah Miller of the American Economic Liberties Project has been selected to be part of the group that will make decisions about the Treasury weighs up.

Both Kimmelman and Miller have advocated greater antitrust control over Big Tech's business practices.

Kimmelman declined to comment. Miller did not respond to requests for comment.

Executives from relatively smaller tech companies like AirBnB, Uber (N :), Lyft (O 🙂 and Stripe were also appointed to these agency review groups.

Amazon declined to comment. The other companies did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for the Biden transition team said the agencies' review teams are responsible for evaluating federal agency operations and ensuring that the Biden-Harris administration can achieve the policy goals discussed during the campaign.

There will also be a team to review the Federal Trade Commission. This includes Bill Baer, ​​former director of the FTC competition bureau and former head of the Justice Department's antitrust division, who recently called for stricter antitrust law.

Baer's DOJ sued to halt two insurance company mergers on the same day in 2016.

The FTC team also includes Laura Moy, who teaches at Georgetown Law and is an expert in consumer protection, data security and net neutrality. The lead on the team is Heather Hippsley, a three-decade veteran of the agency.

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