Jeff Rosen, leading DOJ's Google antitrust case, to become acting US attorney general

But his time at the helm of the department will likely be short-lived.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen will become acting US attorney general.


The investigator leading the US Department of Justice's antitrust case against Google will become the nation's acting attorney general, President Donald Trump tweeted on Monday. Deputy AG Jeff Rosen will assume the top job at the department after AG Bill Barr submitted his resignation on Monday.

Rosen will take over on Dec. 23, but his time at the helm will likely be short-lived. President-elect Joe Biden, who will take office on Jan. 20, will appoint his own attorney general. 

In October, the Justice Department filed a landmark case against Google, accusing the tech giant of monopolies in search and search advertising. 

"As the antitrust complaint filed today explains, [Google] has maintained its monopoly power through exclusionary practices that are harmful to competition," Rosen told reporters at the time. "If the government does not enforce the antitrust laws to enable competition, we could lose the next wave of innovation. If that happens, Americans may never get to see the next Google."

The Justice Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Rosen's appointment.

The lawsuit alleges that Google broke antitrust law by cutting deals with phone makers like Apple and Samsung to be the default search engine on their devices, a move that boxed out competitors. Google has also been accused of taking advantage of the dominance of its Android operating system to pressure device makers into preloading its apps on phones powered by the software.

Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday, but the company has called the lawsuit "deeply flawed."

Rosen, who became deputy attorney general in May 2019, wasn't the expected choice to head the department's Google investigation. But Makan Delrahim, who leads the DOJ's antitrust division, recused himself from the case because Google is a former client.