Google, Justice Department Must Give Fresh Proposal In Antitrust Case Over Concerns Raised By Apple, Microsoft, Others, Judge Says

The U.S District Judge presiding over the antitrust hearing against Alphabet Inc’s GOOGL GOOG dominance in the internet search remarked that the case warrants a new proposal over the sensitive nature of the content being discussed, especially the data collected from other tech companies.

What Happened: The Wall Street Journal reports that Judge Amit Mehta has directed the U.S. Department of Justice and Google to draft a new proposal for addressing the case of Google’s dominance in online search results and its advertising business.

Some of the data collected by the Justice Department includes information from Google’s market peers in the tech industry like Apple Inc. AAPLAmazon Inc AMZN, and Microsoft Corporation MSFT. This contains sensitive materials like the company’s internal data and strategies, which, they say, if revealed to Google would harm their future ability to negotiate or compete with the search engine giant.

The dilemma, in turn, creates a conflict. Due process requires that Google's in-house lawyers be supplied with the necessary information for defending its case, Judge Mehta noted. At the same time, the move shouldn't disadvantage its competitors. 

Why Does It Matter:  The court is seeking a fresh proposal on the issue on Dec. 14 and the next hearing will take place on Dec. 18, the Journal noted.

In November, a lawyer representing a group of eight companies, including AT&T T, Amazon, Microsoft, Oracle Corp. ORCL, opposed the move of sharing sensitive information provided by the companies to federal authorities with Google.

Price Action: Alphabet Class A shares closed at $1,827.97, 1.65% higher, on Wednesday, and Class C shares at $1,827.95, 1.66% higher.

Posted In: Antitrustsearch engineThe Wall Street JournalU.S. Department of JusticeNewsLegalTechMedia