On Monday Google submitted a motion to compel where they asked the District of Columbia court overseeing a Department of Justice antitrust suit to compel the production of documents from proposed custodian Luther Lowe, Yelp’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy.
According to the defendant, the documents Lowe holds are crucial to its defense. The motion explained that Yelp’s long-held views about Google’s alleged monopolism were “conceived and advanced” by Lowe and reportedly are central to the government’s theory of liability.
The case, filed by the federal government and a handful of states, is proceeding through discovery after Google answered the complaint in December 2020. In the complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that Google acted as a “monopoly gatekeeper” and successfully acquired and maintained monopoly power in several markets: the general search services, search advertising, and general search text advertising markets.
The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief to restrain Google from its allegedly anticompetitive conduct. This week’s motion explains that Lowe is “a non-lawyer who has testified before the US Senate and Ohio Senate, has made numerous appearances on television and podcasts, and has given other commentary seeking antitrust enforcement against Google on the very allegations ultimately brought by the Plaintiffs.” As such, Google alleges that there is no comparable custodian.
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