Tech

Washington’s Big Tech Lawyer’s Boom Time

High-tech companies are also bringing antitrust experts into the company. Amazon, Facebook, and Google each have dozens of in-house lawyers. In January 2020, Amazon hired a former FTC lawyer, Amy Posner. In April 2020, Facebook hired a number of government officials, including another long-time Federal Trade Commission lawyer at the Competition Bureau.

“What’s amazing is the number of people who work directly from agencies to tech companies,” said William Kovacic, former chairman of the FTC. “It reflects the real change.”

At a recent mock trial held by the American Bar Association, the opportunity to work for tech clients and tech companies themselves attracted a large audience. The workshop revolved around a large, fictitious search engine called Knowsmore. Knowsmore was sued by a small search engine that wanted to charge for more privacy features. David Reichenberg, Cozen O’Connor’s lawyer and co-chair of the Association’s Litigation Committee, said the event was one of the most attended workshops held by ABA in the last few years.

“Every year, there is more and more interest among members to learn more about technology and antitrust law,” he said.

There is also more work for lawyers who want to take on big companies or represent the government itself. Last year, two law firms reached an agreement to represent Texas in a proceeding against Google. And last month, another company joined the Attorney General of the District of Columbia to sue Amazon.

But many of the largest and most prestigious companies work for Silicon Valley giants.

Jonathan Canter, a longtime antitrust lawyer rumored to be a candidate to lead the Department of Justice’s antitrust department, has built his career primarily by working for rivals on Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. I did. His client list included both large companies such as Microsoft and News Corporation, and small businesses such as Yelp and Spotify.

In 2016, he moved to prominent corporate litigation firms Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. But last year, Mr. Canter’s work, which criticized Big Tech, began to show conflict with other parts of the company’s vast portfolio, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Specifically, his work was at odds with the work being done by two lawyers, Bill Isaacson and Calendan, who are known to represent Apple and Amazon. , Said another person who knew the situation.

Washington’s Big Tech Lawyer’s Boom Time

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