It’s a landmark case: The U.S. Department of Justice sued Google on October 20, accusing the company of illegally using its market power to hamper rivals, and spawning one of the biggest problems against the power and influence of GAFA in decades.
A telephone hearing was held on Friday, October 30th, between Judge Amit Mehta and Google’s lawyer John Schmidtlein. The latter agreed to notify the District of Columbia court by November 13 if the $ 1 trillion giant plans to move the case dismissed or dismissed.
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After some chaos between government lawyers and Google, Judge Mehta said the two sides should provide preliminary information. You will focus on potential witnesses and evidence that could be used in court by November 20th.
For his part, Google’s attorney insisted on the company’s impatience to get their hands on the material that started the antitrust lawsuit in order to prove that Google is breaking the law. “We aim to fully defend this case. And we want to have access to this material so we can start this process as soon as possible, ”he said.
Access to these documents is a sensitive issue. Justice Department attorney Ken Dintzer said sharing critical information was a problem: some documents could prove detrimental to competition when accessed by Google as they are sometimes provided by others. Company during the state investigation phase.
Publishing documents will make it possible to see more clearly the Justice Department’s complaints against Google. Which also gives indications of the sanctions that could be imposed. In particular, it was a forced resale of Google Chrome. Access to these sources is of course accompanied by security measures for the companies who have provided them.
Judge Mehta also requested that both parties to the trial submit a report by November 6th to clarify a possible protection order for witnesses during the trial. In any case, the aim is to protect as much as possible the partners of Google who may testify against him or present evidence.
In the meantime, the judge has set the next hearing, which is still virtual for November 18th (until “compelling reason” to go to court). Discussions last Friday focused only on the most preliminary issues in the case, such as access to evidence and information or the number of prosecutors in the case.