The US Department of Justice believes Google should face court sanctions over “intentional and repeated destruction” of company chat logs that the DOJ expected to use in its antitrust suit, according to Reuters.
The DOJ said in afiling that despite Google’s promises to preserve internal communications relevant to the suit, for years the company maintained a policy of automatically deleting chats.
“Google’s daily destruction of written records prejudiced the United States by depriving it of a rich source of candid discussions between Google’s executives, including likely trial witnesses,” the filing said.
“We strongly refute the DOJ’s claims,” Google said in a statement. “Our teams have conscientiously worked for years to respond to inquiries and litigation. In fact, we have produced over 4 million documents in this case alone, and millions more to regulators around the world.”
The federal government’s call for sanctions adds to the pressure Google faces as it battles antitrust suits on multiple fronts, and highlights a rare move by prosecutors.