Judges listening to the antitrust lawsuit filed by Texas against Alphabet Google restricted what the search giant’s in-house lawyers can see to ensure that confidential information used in the upcoming trial remains safe.

This issue is a key issue for companies that have not yet been identified but have provided information to the Texas Attorney General’s office for investigation. The company is concerned that their confidential data (such as strategic business plans or discussions about negotiations) may be leaked to Google executives.

Judge Sean Jordan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas issued an order that allowed Google’s internal lawyers to view information deemed “confidential information,” but then made recommendations on certain competitive and other decisions Provide companies with a limited two years of data they see.

Unless with the permission of the court or the affected company, Google internal attorneys may not view the “highly confidential” information in the order.

The lawsuit filed in Texas alleges that Google violated the law in controlling online advertising. It claims that Google and its closest online advertising competitor, Facebook, cooperated quietly and acted unfairly on the grounds of protecting user privacy. Publishers complained that one of the results was a decline in revenue.

Google denies any wrongdoing.

This is one of the three major antitrust lawsuits filed against Google last year.

The protection order also requires those receiving confidential and highly confidential information to agree to allow the necessary searches of electronic devices used in the lawsuit as part of a forensic investigation of potential leaks.

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Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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