Apple’s Search Engine Negotiations With Google Took Months of Near-Daily Meetings

Establishing a billion dollar search engine deal with Google took Apple more than four months, according to new details shared today by former Apple lawyer Bruce Sewell.

Sewell recently did an interview with a Columbia law student, which was noticed this afternoon by CNBC, and in the interview, he shared details on his time at Apple and some of the negotiations he handled for the company.


According to Sewell, he attended near daily meetings with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and Google lawyer Kent Walker when hammering out a deal, working alongside Tim Cook or Eddy Cue.
And then with myself and either Tim [Cook] or Eddy Cue who was my counterpart on that deal. They'd be at Google or we'd be at Apple almost every day, it's just one example there are a lot of those kinds of negotiations or lawsuits that just completely suck up all your time.
Sewell did not go into detail about the amount of money that Google pays Apple to be the primary search engine on Apple devices, but in the past, Google has been rumored to be paying billions for the privilege.

Sewell says that in his time at Apple, he had 900 people working under him. 600 of those were in the law group and included lawyers and paralegals.

In just one of the Samsung lawsuits, Apple had 350 people billing time on that case at any given moment, most of which were outside counsel because it's impossible for Apple to handle cases of that magnitude with an internal team. "And this was just one of them. There were seven of them going on," said Sewell.

There were seven or eight billion documents to review, and collectively, law firms billed Apple 280,000 hours. Sewell says his budget was "just shy of a billion dollars a year."

Sewell says that he steered Apple in the wrong direction on its iBooks negotiations, leading to the iBooks snafu with the U.S. government that cost Apple a lot of money because he didn't know about deals publishers made among themselves. Cook, though, was forgiving and said he'd made the right choices.
But that was an example of sailing as close to the wind because it was so important to Apple. But in the end, I got it wrong and Apple ended up having to pay a large fine. The reaction from Tim was "That's the right choice. You made the best choice that you could with the information you had. You didn't know about these other things. Don't let that scare you. I don't want you to stop pushing the envelope because that's why legal is an important function at the company."
During the interview, Sewell also shared a few tidbits about Apple CEO Tim Cook, who he said would send him emails in the very early morning due to Cook's "crazy" work schedule.
From 4:00 a.m. to 5 a.m., there's a there's a lot of activity, so my first thing when I got up around 6:30 a.m. would be to check my email and see all the stuff that Tim had left for me, the little cookies he's left for me.
Sewell had other thoughts to share on working as a traditional lawyer vs. working for a major company as legal counsel, and his shift from Intel to Apple, which he likened to going to kindergarten from university given Apple's focus on creativity. The full interview can be watched in the video up above.

From 2009 to 2017, Bruce Sewell served as Apple's general counsel before retiring at the end of 2017. Sewell has since been replaced by Katherine Adams.


This article, "Apple's Search Engine Negotiations With Google Took Months of Near-Daily Meetings" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple’s Former Legal Chief Bruce Sewell Says FBI ‘Never Heard’ of Supermicro Allegations Last Year

Apple's efforts to thoroughly deny this week's bombshell Bloomberg Businessweek report now extend to a former top executive.

Apple's former general counsel Bruce Sewell

Apple's recently retired general counsel Bruce Sewell told Reuters he called the FBI's then-general counsel James Baker last year after being told by Bloomberg of an open investigation into Supermicro, and was told that nobody at the federal law enforcement agency knows what the story is about.

"I got on the phone with him personally and said, 'Do you know anything about this?," Sewell said of his conversation with Baker, reports Reuters. "He said, 'I've never heard of this, but give me 24 hours to make sure.' He called me back 24 hours later and said 'Nobody here knows what this story is about.'"

Sewell's comments are consistent with a statement Apple shared with Bloomberg Businessweek and on its Newsroom on Thursday:
On this we can be very clear: Apple has never found malicious chips, "hardware manipulations" or vulnerabilities purposely planted in any server. Apple never had any contact with the FBI or any other agency about such an incident. We are not aware of any investigation by the FBI, nor are our contacts in law enforcement.
Also from the Apple Newsroom:
No one from Apple ever reached out to the FBI about anything like this, and we have never heard from the FBI about an investigation of this kind — much less tried to restrict it.
Apple later clarified that it is not under any kind of gag order or other confidentiality obligations after speculation mounted.

Amazon and Supermicro have also refuted the Bloomberg Businessweek report, with the latter company claiming it has "never been contacted by any government agencies either domestic or foreign regarding the alleged claims."

The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has also backed Apple's and Amazon's denials of the Bloomberg Businessweek report, claiming Chinese spies planted tiny chips the size of a pencil tip on server motherboards manufactured by Supermicro, which both Apple and Amazon used at one time in their data centers.

"We are aware of the media reports but at this stage have no reason to doubt the detailed assessments made by AWS and Apple," the agency, a unit of the GCHQ, said in a statement provided to Reuters today.

"The NCSC engages confidentially with security researchers and urges anybody with credible intelligence about these reports to contact us."

Bloomberg Businessweek yesterday reported that Apple discovered the suspicious microchips around May 2015, after detecting odd network activity and firmware problems. Two senior Apple insiders were cited as saying the company reported the incident to the FBI, but kept details tightly held.

The insiders cited in the report said in the summer of 2015, a few weeks after Apple identified the malicious chips, the company started removing all Supermicro servers from its data centers. Every one of the 7,000 or so Supermicro servers was replaced in a matter of weeks, according to one of the insiders.

One government official cited in the Bloomberg Businessweek report said China's goal was "long-term access to high-value corporate secrets and sensitive government networks." No consumer data is known to have been stolen, the report added, but the extent of the alleged attack appears to be unclear.

At this point, there is a clear divide between what Bloomberg is reporting and the denials from Apple, Amazon, and Supermicro. In the coming days, additional information will hopefully provide some clarity about the matter.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Katherine Adams to Become Apple’s New General Counsel as Bruce Sewell Set to Retire This Year

Apple today announced that Katherine Adams will join Apple as General Counsel and Senior Vice President of Legal and Global Security this year. She will serve as the chief lawyer of Apple's legal department and report to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Katherine Adams, left, will replace Bruce Sewell as Apple's general counsel

Adams will replace Bruce Sewell, who has served as Apple's general counsel since 2009 and will be retiring at the end of the year.

Apple's general counsel oversees all legal matters, including corporate governance, intellectual property, litigation and securities compliance, global security, and privacy, according to Sewell's executive bio.

Cook said Adams is a "seasoned leader with outstanding judgment" in her field. He also offered best wishes to Sewell.
We are thrilled to welcome Kate to our team. She's a seasoned leader with outstanding judgment and that has worked on a wide variety of legal cases globally. Throughout her career she's also been an advocate on many of the values we at Apple hold dear.

Bruce has our best wishes for his retirement, after eight years of dedicated service to Apple and a tremendously successful career. He has tirelessly defended our IP, our customers' right to privacy and our values. Bruce has set a new standard for general counsels, and I am proud to have worked with him and proud to call him a friend.
Adams said "it's an honor" to join Apple.
Apple has had a tremendous impact on the world and it's an honor to join their team. I'm excited to help Apple continue to grow and evolve around the world, protecting their ideas and IP, and defending our shared values.
Sewell said the eight years he spent working at Apple have been the "most gratifying" of his entire career.
To have worked with this amazing executive team and all the incredibly smart people at Apple, especially my colleagues in legal and global security, has been the honor of a lifetime. The years I have spent in this job have been the most gratifying of my career. I'm delighted Kate is joining and I know she will be a huge asset.
Adams was most recently senior vice president and general counsel of Honeywell, where she had worked since 2003. Prior to then, she was a partner at New York law firm Sidley Austin LLP. She has also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Supreme Court and as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice.

Sewell came into the spotlight twice last year during Apple's separate battles with the FBI and Spotify.


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