Who is Sandy Litvack, the lawyer that the Justice Department hired last week, in a move which most believe mean the trustbusters are planning to break up Google's deal to sell ads on Yahoo? Litvack's resume might give Google's lawyers reason to sweat. If it takes a monopolist to catch a monopolist, Litvack's perfect for the job. At Disney, he was CEO Michael Eisner's right-hand man when the company went on its most aggressive acquisition binge ever. He masterminded Disney's purchase of the ABC television network, which was the Google-DoubleClick deal of its day. And Litvack is a guy who likes to take a case to trial.Litvack is a litigator first and foremost, says John Shenefield, the former head of the DOJ's antitrust unit who first hired Litvack in 1980. "He liked to litigate. He liked the rough and tumble, whereas some people who had served in that position liked to dot all the Is and cross all the Ts," Shenefield told CNET. "During a Christmas party, there was a skit and the person playing Sandy said, 'Fundamentally, I'm a litigator,' and everyone in the room knew exactly what he meant," another DOJ source said. Some say Litvack likes to go to court too much, even when the laws he's prosecuting don't make sense. Along with being credited with building the case that broke up AT&T, Litvack is also known for prosecuting laws that, according to CNET, forbade "a manufacturer to have an agreement with a reseller that prohibited them from reselling a product at a higher or lower price than expressly stated in the contract." The Supreme Court eventually decided such laws were themselves anticompetitive and struck them down.
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