Sign In
April 15, 20213:35 AM PDT
Judge in Texas lawsuit against Google issues protective order

2 minute read
The brand logo of Alphabet Inc's Google is seen outside its office in Beijing, China, August 8, 2018. Picture taken with a fisheye lens. REUTERS/Thomas Peter
The judge hearing the Texas antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google put limits on what the search giant’s in-house lawyers can see in an order aimed at ensuring that confidential information used in an upcoming trial remains secure.
The issue is a key one for companies that have not been identified but that gave information to the Texas attorney general's office for its investigation and fear that their confidential data, like strategic business plans or discussions about negotiations, could be disclosed to Google executives.
The order issued by Judge Sean Jordan of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas allows Google's in-house counsel to see information deemed "confidential" but they are then limited in advising on some competitive and other decision-making for two years regarding the companies whose data they see.
In-house counsel for Google is barred from seeing "highly confidential" information under the order unless it is given permission by the court or the affected company.
The Texas lawsuit accuses Google of violating the law in how it dominates the process of placing ads online. It alleges Google quietly teams with its closest online advertising competitor, Facebook Inc (FB.O), and that it uses the excuse of protecting users' privacy to act unfairly. Publishers complain that one result has been lower revenues.
Google denies any wrongdoing.
It is one of three big antitrust lawsuits filed against Google last year.
The protective order also requires people who receive confidential and highly confidential information to agree to allow electronic devices used in their work on the lawsuit to be searched if needed as part of a forensic investigation into a potential leak.
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Read Next
Read Next
Facebook to defend itself against 'damaging' Irish data privacy probe
8:27 AM PDT
Read Next
Largest decentralized finance venture cap firm raises $100 mln for 2nd fund
7:36 AM PDT
Read Next
Court allows Irish regulator to proceed with inquiry into Facebook data flows
8:22 AM PDT
Read Next
Chip shortage to hit about 100,000 Mazda vehicles in 2021
7:10 AM PDT

Sign up for our newsletter
Subscribe for our daily curated newsletter to receive the latest exclusive Reuters coverage delivered to your inbox.
Technology · 6:26 AM PDT
Toshiba unit hacked by DarkSide, conglomerate to undergo strategic review
A Toshiba Corp (6502.T) unit said it was hacked by the DarkSide ransomware group, overshadowing an announcement of a strategic review for the Japanese conglomerate under pressure from activist shareholders to seek out suitors.
EXCLUSIVE U.S. senators close to announcing $52 bln chips funding deal -sources
8:21 AM PDT
Analysis: How murky legal rules allow Tesla’s Musk to keep moving markets
6:56 AM PDT
Largest decentralized finance venture cap firm raises $100 mln for 2nd fund
7:36 AM PDT
Morgan Stanley cautions against Chinese ADRs as delisting looms
8:24 AM PDT
About Reuters
About Reuters
Reuters News Agency
Brand Attribution Guidelines
Reuters Leadership
Reuters Fact Check
Reuters Diversity Report
Stay Informed
Download the App
Information you can trust
Reuters, the news and media division of Thomson Reuters, is the world’s largest multimedia news provider, reaching billions of people worldwide every day. Reuters provides business, financial, national and international news to professionals via desktop terminals, the world's media organizations, industry events and directly to consumers.
Follow Us
Thomson Reuters Products
Build the strongest argument relying on authoritative content, attorney-editor expertise, and industry defining technology.
The most comprehensive solution to manage all your complex and ever-expanding tax and compliance needs.
The industry leader for online information for tax, accounting and finance professionals.
Refinitiv Products
Information, analytics and exclusive news on financial markets - delivered in an intuitive desktop and mobile interface.
Refinitiv Data Platform
Access to real-time, reference, and non-real time data in the cloud to power your enterprise.
Screen for heightened risk individual and entities globally to help uncover hidden risks in business relationships and human networks.
Advertise With Us
Advertising Guidelines
Terms of Use
Site Feedback

All quotes delayed a minimum of 15 minutes. See here for a complete list of exchanges and delays.
© 2021 Reuters. All rights reserved