Anant Raut is a Visiting Fellow at Public Knowledge, focusing on antitrust and net neutrality issues. He most recently served in the Obama Administration as Counsel to the past two Assistant Attorneys General for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division. He managed and advised on approximately half of the civil docket, as well as several long-term joint policy initiatives with sister agency the Federal Trade Commission. Part of his duties as a member of the Administration included serving as a special advisor to the Office of Vice President Biden and the President’s National Economic Council on a policy initiative to stimulate market competition and real wage growth for low- and middle-income workers. He also served two details in the DOJ’s Office of Privacy and Civil Liberties, where he provided legal counsel on legislatively mandated “backdoors” into encrypted cell phones, and law enforcement’s use of facial recognition databases, among other issues.
Raut started his career as a staff attorney at the Federal Trade Commission, where he reviewed proposed mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas and telecommunications industries. His work on an investigation into barriers to the sale of contact lenses online led to legislation from Congress mandating prescription portability that now allows wearers to shop around for the best prices for their corrective lenses.
Raut later practiced at the law firms Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP and Pepper Hamilton LLP, focusing on antitrust and complex commercial litigation. While at Weil, Raut represented on a pro bono basis terrorism suspects held in Guantanamo Bay, which culminated in joining the team that successfully argued Boumediene v. Bush, a 2008 Supreme Court decision recognizing the prisoners’ constitutional right to habeas corpus.
Raut later worked in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, as Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee and then as Counsel to U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT). As Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, Raut organized hearings, drafted legislation, and provided legal counsel on competition law and policy. Among his representative bills: Raut helped drive the bipartisan reauthorization of a critical criminal antitrust enforcement statute (the Antitrust Criminal Penalty Enhancement and Reform Act), and drafted antitrust protections that were incorporated into the final versions of the Affordable Care Act and Dodd-Frank.
Raut has also advised public interest groups, working with Free Press to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to use an allocated auction model in its wireless spectrum auction to prevent further entrenchment of the dominant two wireless carriers, and advocating for strong net neutrality protections. Raut also authored a white paper analyzing ways to increase competition in the state health insurance exchanges, made possible through the New America Foundation’s New Venture Fund.
Raut is a graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Notable awards and achievements include being a member of the President’s Economic Leadership Workshop (2016); a recipient of the National Legal Aid & Defenders Association Beacon of Justice Award (2007); a recipient of the Southern Center for Human Rights Frederick Douglass Award (2007); and a recipient of Yale University’s Lawton Calhoun Cup (1996). He was also recognized in 2014 as one of Silicon India’s 5 Most Renowned U.S.-Indian attorneys.