Tech companies tied to U.S. lawsuit against Google ask judge to extend protective order deadline

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Oracle Corp ORCL.N and other companies that have provided information to the government for its antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google GOOGL.O requested more time on Wednesday to propose a protective order for their confidential data.

The group, which also includes AT&T Inc T.N, AMZN.O, Comcast Corp CMCSA.O, Duck Duck Go, Inc, Sonos, Inc SONO.O, and T-Mobile US, Inc TMUS.O, said it would not be able to make proposals for a protective order on Friday, as federal Judge Amit Mehta had ordered. It requested an extension until Nov. 20.

The U.S. Justice Department sued Google on Oct. 20, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals, in the biggest challenge to the power and influence of Big Tech in decades.

Google has said it will fight the lawsuit.

The parties cooperating with the government have provided information, including business plans and strategies, to the Justice Department as part of its investigation, the companies said in a court filing.

“One of the key issues here is the extent to which Google personnel will gain access (by virtue of being named a defendant in an antitrust lawsuit) to the non-parties’ most sensitive

confidential business documents,” the companies said in a joint request filed with the court.

The companies said they wanted to have access to draft protective orders proposed by Google and the Justice Department, which are due Friday, before writing their own.

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