Big tech companies stated that confidential material they provided for the US government’s antitrust probe of Google should not be shared with the search giant’s in-house lawyers because the information is too sensitive, reported the Los Angeles Times.
In a filing Friday in federal court in Washington, Apple said it gave the US Justice Department “competitively sensitive” documents and that allowing lawyers inside Google to see the information would result in “material harm” to Apple. A similar joint filing was made by Amazon, AT&T., Microsoft, Oracle, Comcast, Sonos, Duck Duck Go and T-Mobile.
Concerns about such disclosures have emerged since the government sued Google, alleging abuse of its power to thwart competition. The Justice Department and Google have clashed over the extent of access to information collected by the government before it sued. The judge overseeing the case, Amit Mehta, has yet to rule on the issue.
The Justice Department has proposed allowing companies that provided information to designate their most sensitive documents as “highly confidential,” which would prevent access by Google’s in-house lawyers, according to court papers. The US argues that allowing the search giant to see the proprietary information would give Google even more power in the market than it already has.
“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,” Apple stated.
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