Judge in Texas Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google Issues Protective Order

15 April 2021

    The judge hearing the Texas antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet's Google has placed limits on what the tech giant's in-house lawyers can see in an order - a measure aimed at ensuring that confidential information used in the upcoming trial remains secure.


    To remind, the Texas lawsuit accuses Google of violating the law in how it dominates the process of placing ads online. It implies Google teams with its closest online advertising competitor - Facebook (behind the scenes of course), as well as uses the excuse of protecting user privacy to act in an unfair manner. Google has so far denied any wrongdoings.


    It is one of the three lawsuits filed against the search-giant last year.


    The order issued by Judge Sean Jordan of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas allows Google's in-house counsel to see information deemed "confidential”, but they are limited in advising on some competitive and other decision-making for two years regarding the companies whose data they see. In-house counsel for Google is also blocked from seeing "highly confidential" information under the order, unless given specific court permission.


    The protective order also requires people who receive confidential and highly confidential information to agree to allow electronic devices used in their work on the lawsuit to be searched if required as part of a forensic investigation.

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