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Facebook Questions Attorneys Working On A Prospective Antitrust Class Action

 |  September 30, 2021

Lawyers for Facebook on Wednesday, September 29, questioned the number of plaintiffs’ attorneys working on a prospective antitrust class action, suggesting “inefficiencies” could grow as the case moves forward.

The company’s legal team at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr raised its concerns in a jointly filed submission with the plaintiffs lawyers ahead of a status conference in federal court in San Jose, California. The lawsuit, filed in December 2020, alleges Facebook duped consumers about data privacy as part of the company’s bid to monopolize the social media market.

Wilmer Hale attorneys, including partner Sonal Mehta, said plaintiffs firms are “consistently” staffing 12 to 14 lawyers despite “only a handful speaking or participating in any way” on phone calls among counsel addressing issues in the lawsuit. Facebook said it thought it was “prudent” to raise “potential (in)efficiency of the interim class counsel structure.”

Facebook also stated “plaintiffs have had multiple lawyers sending emails to Facebook on the same subject.” Still, the company also stated it “recognizes that it does not have a role” in how the plaintiffs’ lawyers devise their responsibilities.

Plaintiffs’ lawyers at the firms Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro are leading the representation of the putative consumer class, and the firms Bathaee Dunne and Scott + Scott represent a would-be advertiser class.

In the joint court filing, the plaintiffs’ lawyers derided Facebook’s observations about efficiency as “aspersions.”

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