Stanford business school professor Athey joins DOJ antitrust team

Economics of technology professor Susan Athey has joined the U.S. Justice Department as its top antitrust economist.

She takes up the post as the federal government agency boosts its roster of expertise ahead of its trial against technology giants Alphabet and Apple.

Details of Athey’s appointment were first reported by Bloomberg News.

Athey’s research focuses on the economics of digitization, marketplace design and the intersection of machine learning and econometrics. She has studied a range of specific application areas including timber auctions, online advertising, the news media and the application of technology for social impact.

Athey joined Stanford Graduate School of Business in 2013, and previously taught at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Outside of academia she has consulted for Microsoft, helping with its long-running antitrust fight against Alphabet’s Google, and has also worked as an economic expert for Epic Games.

A source told Bloomberg News that because of her prior private sector work, Athey is likely to be recused from the Department of Justice’s cases against Apple and Google.

Commenting on her appointment, Stanford Graduate School of Business Dean Jonathan Levin said: “Susan is a force of nature. She moves from machine learning to business strategy to technology policy to social impact, producing deep ideas at every turn.”

Image credit: Tricia Siebold / Stanford Graduate School of Business.