Among the documents requested was communications with third parties regarding “any form of cooperation in responding to antitrust investigations or litigation, including communications with Facebook regarding ‘Jedi Blue.’”
A group of states led by Texas had alleged that Google and Facebook, the two biggest players in online advertising, used a series of deals to consolidate their market power. But the issue was not included in the federal complaint against Google.
Google objected to the document demand, and others, as “overly broad” and potentially privileged but said it was willing to discuss the matter.
The documents are requested as part of a pre-trial process for a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit, filed in October, focused on Google’s search and search advertising, and a broader state case, which was filed in December. Google has denied wrongdoing in each.
Other documents requested by the government included internal Google communications regarding the government investigation and lawsuit; documents dating back to 2000 regarding Google’s search engine and how it compares to competitors and documents going back to 2005 regarding the Chrome browser. Google objected to at least portions of each of those document requests.
Other of the more than 60 document demands, which Google objected to at least partially, included documents discussing Google’s funding of think tanks, or specific academic projects, documents related to the removal of an app from the Play Store and its later restoration. Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Himani Sarkar