The large federal antitrust case against Google has led to a major battle over the data held by Microsoft.
The giant of the software it is now facing an order to submit millions of documents that could shed light on its attempts to compete with Google’s search engine.
Having initially partnered with prosecutors in building an antitrust case against Google, Microsoft may be forced to provide millions of other documents at the request of the team defense of Google.
In a hearing, Judge Amit Mehta heard arguments from Google and Microsoft on the case, but ultimately found that more information was needed before the court could provide guidance on how much internal data Microsoft is required to provide.
The Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google, which was filed in October 2020, focuses on anti-competitive behavior in search and search advertising, arguing among other allegations that the company’s exclusive deals on Android and iOS have hampered competing search engines.
Separate antitrust cases have also been launched against Google focusing on the company’s browser privacy settings and manipulation of search results.
Prior to the allegations, Microsoft submitted more than 400,000 documents to civil investigation requests from prosecutors.
In a file submitted before the hearing, Google said it had the right to obtain a number of similar documents that could be useful in its defense.
No third party is more central in this litigation by Microsoft, Google said. Complaints from the Ministry of Justice refer to it or its products dozens of times.
Microsoft clashes with Google
Google first issued a subpoena to Microsoft in April, looking for outdated documents they put up in evidence if Microsoft could not compete with GOAL or if it had failed to compete successfully on the merits.
But Microsoft only accepted part of the recall and limited it in meaningful access to information. Google is now demanding a more powerful injunction to force Microsoft to provide the documents.
In the appendix to its file, Google lists 19 current and former Microsoft executives who may have contacts related to the case.
These executives cover the crux of the matter, including the development and distribution of Microsoft’s various search engines, the business of search advertising and its efforts to market devices that provide more search access points beyond the Windows desktop.
The giant of the software disputed this reasoning, arguing that Google is making unnecessary public requests in an attempt to further delay the case.
The court appears to favor Google’s version of the case. But he asked for more data on the burden required to submit documents.
The court found that there was insufficient information about the burden associated with submitting the documents. The dispute is likely to continue at least until August 20, the deadline for further filings in matter.
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