Google at odds with U.S. over protective order for firms tied to lawsuit: court filing By Reuters


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Alphabet (NASDAQ:)’s Google and the U.S. Justice Department have failed to reach agreement over a protective order for third parties like Microsoft that provided data to the government for its lawsuit against the search and advertising giant.

Google is pressing for two in-house attorneys to have access to the confidential data while the Justice Department has disagreed, Google said in a court filing on Friday.

In the filing, Google argued it needed the information to prepare an effective defense. It also offered to ensure that any confidential information would be made available solely to two in-house attorneys at the offices of Google’s outside counsel or in another secure manner, adding that it would promptly report any disclosure.

The companies, which apart from Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) include Oracle Corp (NYSE:), AT&T Inc, Amazon.com (NASDAQ:), Comcast Corp (NASDAQ:) and others, have until next Friday to make their proposals for the terms of a protective order.

Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia is hearing the Justice Department’s case against Google. The government sued Google in October, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals in the biggest challenge to the power and influence of Big Tech in decades.

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