French Government Criticizes Appointment Of US Economist As Chief Antitrust Advisor

France is calling for the European Commission to reconsider its choice to appoint a US economist as its chief antitrust advisor for its new digital regulation plans.

Foreign minister Catherine Colonna and government minister Jean-Noel Barrot have voiced their criticism over the appointment of Fiona Scott Morton, the former chief economist at the Department of Justice during former President Barack Obama’s tenure, reported Reuters. 

In a tweet, Colonna said, “Digital regulation is a key issue for France and for Europe. This appointment deserves to be reconsidered by @EU_Commission.” Barrot also responded to the appointment with a tweet that stated, “At a time when Europe is embarking on the most ambitious digital regulation in the world, the recent appointment of the chief economist of DG Competition is not without raising legitimate questions. I invite the @EU_Commission to reconsider their choice.”

The appointment of Scott Morton has prompted concerns due to her consulting work with Charles River Associates, a consultancy which advises a number of tech giants. The potential conflict of interest has compelled the French government to take action and call for reconsideration of her appointment.

The European Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen has yet to respond to the demands of the French government. However, the European Union is currently undergoing its most ambitious digital regulation plan, and this decision will be key in ensuring its success. It remains to be seen whether the European Commission will heed the call of the French government or not.