Judge in Google Antitrust Case ‘Eager’ to Move Forward: WSJ

November 19th, 2020 2:29 PM

The Department of Justice just got an early Christmas present in its antitrust case against Google.

The judge of the antitrust case is “eager” to move forward with the case, and has already set two preliminary hearings, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Judge Amit Mehta reportedly said on Wednesday that he “wanted to hammer out a schedule with both sides before the holidays so Google and the government could begin the process of legal discovery, gathering information and exchanging materials about evidence that may be presented at trial.”

The first matter of business is for the sides to make some disclosures to one another. The Journal reported: “Google lawyer John Schmidtlein said Wednesday the search giant needed more information quickly about the materials the Justice Department already gathered during its more than yearlong investigation, especially what was produced to the government by third-party companies. Until Google has that information, it will have a hard time committing to how much time it will need to prepare its defense, Mr. Schmidtlein said.”

Several state attorneys general have joined the lawsuit, including: Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, South Carolina and Texas. Several more, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina and Utah, may also join, according to an Oct. 20 statement

“Procedurally, Judge Mehta said the next big task is the crafting of a protective order that will limit Google’s access to competitively sensitive materials that other companies provided in the government’s probe. He scheduled a Dec. 2 hearing on that issue, as well as a Dec. 18 hearing to further discuss scheduling,” The Journal reported.

The Department of Justice initially filed its antitrust lawsuit against Google on October 20.

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