US & Google At Odds Over Document Hand-Off

Lawyers for Alphabet’s Google and the government tangled on Tuesday, March 30, over how many documents related to the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit against the search and advertising giant should be turned over, and how fast.

In a status conference before Judge Amit Mehta of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, the Justice Department’s Kenneth Dintzer said Google had balked at delivering some older documents, dating to the early 2000s. He also said that third parties, which could include Microsoft and Apple, had delayed responding to government subpoenas until they got a subpoena from Google – which slowed that process down.

“Broadly speaking, it’s going slowly,” he said, reported Reuters.

For Google’s part, John Schmidtlein, who argued for the company, said they would send some subpoenas to third parties this week and next.

He also said that Google had produced some 250,000 documents, the equivalent of 1.4 million pages, and that another 200,000 were being prepared for delivery to the government.

Judge Mehta told the two sides that if they had specific disagreements, he could jump in but they needed to resolve the larger issues.

The Justice Department has been pushing Google to produce documents on a long list of topics related to its lawsuit, which accuses the company of breaking antitrust law in its search and search advertising businesses.

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