Facebook has poached the DoJ’s Silicon Valley antitrust chief

Facebook has recruited Kate Patchen, a veteran of the U.S. Department of Justice who led its antitrust office in Silicon Valley, to be a director and associate general counsel of litigation.

Patchen takes up her post amid ongoing scandals and reputation crises for her new employer, joining Facebook this month, according to her LinkedIn profile.

The move was spotted earlier by the FT, which reports that Facebook also posted a job listing on LinkedIn for a “lead counsel” in Washington to handle competition issues two weeks ago — suggesting a broader effort to bulk up its in-house expertise.

Patchen brings to her new employer a wealth of experience on the antitrust topic, having spent 16 years at the DoJ, where she began as a trial attorney before becoming an assistant chief in the antitrust division in 2014. Two years later she was made chief.

We reached out to Facebook about the hire and it acknowledged our email but did not immediately provide comment on its decision to recruit a specialist in antitrust enforcement.