The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed a monopoly lawsuit against Amazon.com, posing a significant legal challenge for the technology giant’s team of defense lawyers. The case, joined by 17 state attorneys general, alleges that Amazon has abused its dominance as an online retailer to hinder competition and harm sellers and customers dependent on its platform. In response, Amazon has pledged to fight the lawsuit, asserting that its practices have fostered competition and innovation. The company is expected to rely on multiple law firms for its defense.
One of the lawyers identified as part of Amazon’s defense team is Kevin Hodges, a partner at law firm Williams & Connolly. Hodges has previous experience representing state attorneys general in the landmark antitrust case against Microsoft in the 1990s, as well as defending BP in lawsuits following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010. Williams & Connolly, known for its litigation expertise, successfully defeated a private lawsuit against Amazon accusing the company of curbing competition for shipping and fulfillment services. Another lead defense firm is Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, which has helped Amazon navigate government scrutiny and secured the dismissal of an antitrust lawsuit brought by Washington, D.C.’s attorney general.
Covington & Burling, in collaboration with Williams & Connolly, attempted to force FTC Chair Lina Khan to recuse herself from matters involving Amazon due to her criticism of the company. However, this attempt was unsuccessful. Covington is also representing Amazon in another ongoing lawsuit brought by the FTC, which accuses the company of enrolling customers into its paid Amazon Prime service without their consent. Amazon has denied these allegations. The company has additionally sought legal assistance from various other law firms for its defense against the FTC case.