A group of technology companies that includes Microsoft has filed a motion in Google’s antitrust case to keep their data private from the search giant.
“Disclosure of this information to Google would directly implicate future business dealings between Apple and Google, provide Google with a substantial advantage over Apple in negotiations, and potentially disadvantage competitor search engines that negotiate with Apple and other software providers,” an Apple statement explains.
Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Comcast, Duck Duck Go, Microsoft, Oracle, Sonos, and T-Mobile are among the firms that have asked the judge in the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust case against Google to protect the “competitively sensitive” data that they have given to regulators. The fear is that Google’s lawyers will use this information to help Google behind the scenes, much as Google uses its search data insights to build products and services that compete with existing and popular solutions.
The DOJ agrees and says that the firms that provided evidence against Google should be able to designate the most sensitive documents and data as “highly confidential,” which would prevent them from being viewed by Google’s lawyers. Otherwise, Google will learn proprietary information and gain yet another unfair competitive advantage.
For its part, Google has offered to ensure the privacy of the confidential information by ensuring that only two of its in-house attorneys would be able to view it, and only at the offices of Google’s outside counsel or in another secure place. Google also says that it will disclose any accidental viewing of confidential material immediately.
Judge Amit Mehta has yet to rule on the request.