June 29, 2022

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DC AG Racine says fighting big tech is like David vs Goliath

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Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine speaks after a news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court September 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong

In his battles with Big Tech, District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine sees his office as something of an underdog.

“In a real way, when you take on tech, it’s David versus Goliath,” Racine said in a recent interview with CNBC in his office. “Which means you’ve got to be thorough, studied and precise. And willing to go the distance.”

Racine, who is now in his last year of office after announcing he will not seek reelection, has demonstrated his resolve in lawsuits he’s brought against companies including Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Grubhub. Still, his office has seen significant blows to several different actions against Amazon and Facebook owner Meta in recent months.

But Racine said his office plans to move ahead with each of those cases and ask the courts to reconsider. He said he’s not surprised that the tech companies would hire the most experienced lawyers to back them up and engage in a process that “grinds down smaller players and plaintiffs.” And, he said, he has faith that the courts, with a little bit of extra explanation on the particulars of their cases, will come around.

“We are willing to take on that David role,” Racine said. “And after all, I think, David won.”

The role of state AGs

(L-R) Washington, DC Attorney General Karl Racine (L) speaks as Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton listens during a news conference in front of the U.S. Supreme Court September 9, 2019 in Washington, DC.

Alex Wong

Racine, the first independently-elected attorney general in D.C., sees the role of state AGs as a particularly important one in light of Congress’ slow ability to act.

When first elected in 2014, he didn’t expect taking on the tech industry to be as big a pillar of his work as it’s become. But he quickly recognized his office was uniquely positioned for that…

2022-04-02 10:00:00

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