Tech companies are also bringing in antitrust experts. Amazon, Facebook and Google all have dozens of in-house attorneys. In January 2020, Amazon hired a former FTC attorney, Amy Posner. In April 2020, Facebook hired multiple government officials, starting with another longtime Federal Trade Commission attorney in the competition bureau.
“It’s remarkable how many people will work directly for tech companies from agencies,” said William Kovacic, former president of the FTC.
The opportunity to work for technology clients, or the tech companies themselves, drew huge crowds at a mock trial hosted by the American Bar Association recently. The panel focused on a fictional large search engine called Knowsmore, which is being sued by a smaller search engine that wants to charge for more private features. David Reichenberg, attorney at Cozen O’Connor and co-chair of the association’s litigation committee, said the event was one of the ABA’s most attended seminars over the past few years.
“Every year more and more members are interested in learning more about technology and antitrust,” he said.
There are also more jobs available for attorneys who want to take on large firms, or represent the government. The two law firms reached an agreement last year to represent the State of Texas in a lawsuit against Google. And last month, another company joined the attorney general in the District of Columbia to sue Amazon.
But many of the biggest and most prestigious companies are working for the giants of Silicon Valley.
Jonathan Kanter, a longtime antitrust attorney who is rumored to be nominated to lead the Justice Department’s antitrust division, has built his career primarily working for legal entities. competitors of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. His client list includes both big companies like Microsoft and News Corporation and smaller companies like Yelp and Spotify.
In 2016, he moved to Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, a well-known litigation firm. But last year, Mr. Kanter’s work criticizing Big Tech began to contradict other parts of the company’s vast portfolio, two people with knowledge of the matter said. Specifically, his practice is in contrast to the work being done by Bill Isaacson and Karen Dunn, two attorneys the company recently hired who are known to represent Apple and Amazon. other has knowledge of the situation.