Google relies on court to oppose ties to competitors in antitrust probe


Revealed: The Secrets our Clients Used to Earn $3 Billion

Angela Lang/CNET

Google states it wishes to keep its secret information from reaching competitors throughout a prominent antitrust examination by state attorney generals of the United States. The business on Thursday submitted a movement with a Texas court, objecting the hiring of 2 experts who had actually formerly worked for Google opponents consisting of News Corp and Microsoft. 

In September, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton revealed an antitrust probe into Google’s huge digital marketing company. The examination has the involvement of AGs from 48 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. As part of the probe, Paxton’s workplace last month sent out Google a civil investigative need, requesting for crucial info about its advertisement operation and information collection policies. 

But Google is challenging a few of the experts who would be dealing with the probe due to the fact that delicate information “could be inappropriately disclosed to and used by its adversaries,” Google stated in the movement. 

“We’ve provided millions of pages of documents in response to regulatory inquiries, and we’re committed to cooperating,” a Google spokesperson stated. “But this is an extraordinarily irregular arrangement, and it’s only fair to have assurances that our confidential business information won’t be shared with competitors or vocal complainants.”

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Google specifically protested the involvement of Cristina Caffarra, a vice president at Charles River Associates, who has worked for News Corp, Microsoft and Google’s Russian search rival Yandex. Caffarra “has widely marketed her anti-Google experience,” Google wrote in its motion. The company also called out the hiring of Eugene Burrus, an adviser at McKinsey who spent 15 years at Microsoft as assistant general counsel. 

Caffarra and Burrus didn’t respond to requests for comment. 

The Texas Attorney General’s Office said it had been in “good-faith negotiations” with Google about “appropriate confidentiality provisions,” Marc Rylander, director of communications, said in a statement. “Google’s petition is nothing more than an effort to hamstring the investigation,” he said. “But Google is not entitled to choose the states’ expert or run the states’ investigation.” 

Aside from the states antitrust probe, Google is also under scrutiny from federal regulators. Google in July acknowledged that it was under investigation by the Justice Department.

Update, 4:36 p.m. PT: Adds comment from the Texas attorney general’s office. 

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