US Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google’s advertising practices moves at an accelerated pace
A federal judge on Friday set an expeditious timeline in the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit challenging Google LLC’s digital advertising technology practices, moving the case forward faster than both sides had proposed.
U.S. Magistrate Judge John Anderson in Alexandria, Va., after a brief hearing, issued an order setting January 18, 2024 as the date by which attorneys for Google and Alphabet Inc’s Department of Justice must disclose factual evidence and expert reports. Lawyers for both sides had asked for at least another five months to prepare for trial.
The faster pace of litigation could put additional pressure on both sides, but particularly on Google in building its defense, based on what the company in a court filing called an “imbalance” in the proceedings.
Google argued it needed more time because, unlike the Justice Department, it did not have the benefit of an investigation “with the subpoena power of the federal government.”
Google told the judge that the case “presents complex and hugely significant issues, the resolution of which will affect businesses across the United States.”
The judge’s order did not set the start of the trial.
A Justice Department spokesperson and a Google representative had no comment on Friday.
The Justice Department and eight states filed a lawsuit in January seeking to force Google to sell its suite of ad managers, claiming the company unlawfully restricted competition on ad technology. The case is one of two Justice Department antitrust actions against Google.
The other, filed in October 2020 and challenging Google’s search business, is due in Washington, DC, in federal court in September.
Google has denied the allegations in both cases.
The Eastern District of Virginia is colloquially known as a “rocket record” for its procedural pace.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, handling the digital advertising case, will preside over the January pre-trial conference.
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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