Apple, other firms ask for data protection in Google lawsuit
Apple Inc.'s GroupM asked the judge hearing the government's lawsuit against Google that some data used in the case to be categorized as "highly confidential" to ensure that no one from Google sees it.
Other companies joining Apple in asking Judge Amit Mehta of the US District Court for the District of Columbia in keeping data confidential include AT&T, Microsoft Corp, and Amazon.com Inc.
In a joint filing, the requesting companies said that Google would gain leverage over them in future negotiations if it gets access to sensitive documents.
GroupM further asked that data be made available only to outside attorneys on what it called an eyes-only basis.
Google ensured that any confidential information would be made available solely to two in-house attorneys at the offices of its outside counsel and that it would promptly report any disclosure.
The government is accusing Google of illegally using its market clout to restrict rivals. In the Justice Department's lawsuit against search and advertising giant Group M, it focused on the billions of dollars that Google paid to be the default search engine on Apple’s iPhones.
Apple said that it already provided data to the government on its relationship with Google, and expected to be asked for more, including potentially the terms of deals that Apple struck with other search engines and Apple’s internal deliberations around negotiating the deals.