FILE PHOTO: Google logo can be seen in Davos
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Apple Inc, advertising giant GroupM and others on Friday asked the judge hearing the Department of Justice lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google to allow them to designate certain data used by the government as “Highly confidential”, to ensure that no one from Google could see it.
The Justice Department, which sued the search and advertising giant in October, has put at the heart of its antitrust case the billions of dollars Google paid to be the default search engine on iPhones. Apple, and Apple noted in its file that sensitive data was being used. to write the complaint.
The government accuses Google of illegally using its market power to hamper rivals in a lawsuit that has been the biggest challenge to Big Tech’s power and influence in decades.
Google had offered to ensure that any confidential information would be made available only to two inside lawyers in the offices of Google’s external counsel or in some other secure manner, adding that it would promptly report any disclosure.
Like Apple, companies like AT&T, Microsoft Corp, and Amazon.com Inc that have helped the government have asked U.S. District Court Judge Amit Mehta for the District of Columbia to create a level of data deemed “highly confidential” and prohibit to any Google employee to have access to it. GroupM further requested that the information be “disclosed only on the basis of the“ eyes of outside lawyers only ”.
Apple said it had already provided the government with data about its relationship with Google and expected to ask for more, potentially including the terms of Apple’s deals with other search engines and the deliberations. internal Apple on the negotiation of agreements.
Microsoft, Amazon and others said in a joint filing that if Google had access to certain sensitive documents, it would gain leverage with companies in future negotiations.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)