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Lessons of the last techlash

Bill Gates testifying in the 1990s
Bill Gates testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 1998. Photo: Jessica Persson/AFP/Getty Images

Key players in the Microsoft antitrust fight — which the Justice Department brought to court 20 years ago this month — have one piece of advice for tech companies facing criticism now: Engage with your critics before it’s too late.

Why it matters: A whole new generation of powerful companies is in the spotlight in Washington now. The issues today are different but the dynamics are similar.