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Texas court considers hearing on changing venue of Google antitrust case

Texas court considers hearing on changing venue of Google antitrust case

A Google sign is pictured on a Google building in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, on Oct 20, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Carlo Allegri)

WASHINGTON: A Texas court considering a state antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet Inc's Google is likely to hold a hearing on the company's request to move the trial to California, according to discussions at a status conference on Thursday.

Lawyers at the pretrial conference, which was held in Plano, Texas, discussed Google's motion to move the case to California, where it is fighting similar cases.

Judge Sean Jordan, who was nominated to the court by former US President Donald Trump in 2019, indicated that if either side wanted a hearing on the issue, he would likely schedule one.

"Yes, your honor, we will want a hearing," said Paul Yetter, who represents Google in the case. Suggested dates for that hearing were late February or early March.

Texas and nine other states sued the search and advertising company in mid-December, accusing it of breaking antitrust law in how it dominates all steps in placing digital advertising. Publishers complain that one result has been lower revenues. Google has denied wrongdoing.

Yetter also brought up the issue of an unredacted draft of the Texas lawsuit being leaked to major newspapers. The draft discussed a deal struck between Facebook Inc and Google.

Yetter, speaking for Google, said he wanted disclosures of who received confidential information in order to prevent a repeat of the leak.

Speaking for Texas, Mark Lanier pushed back, saying he would be "loath to" disclose consultants but would agree to having people sign for documents and suffer repercussions in the case of a breach.

The lawsuit is one of three faced by Google. The other two were filed by the US Justice Department and a big group of states. Facebook faces lawsuits from the Federal Trade Commission and another group of states.

Source: Reuters

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