The sweeping federal antitrust case against Google has given rise to a significant fight over data held by Microsoft, and the company is now facing a subpoena for millions of documents that could shed light on its attempts to compete with Google’s search engine. Having initially cooperated with prosecutors in building an antitrust case against Google, Microsoft could be obligated to produce millions more documents at the request of Google’s defense team.
At a status hearing on Friday morning, Judge Amit Mehta heard arguments from both Google and Microsoft on the issue, but ultimately found more information was required before the court could give guidance as to how much internal data Microsoft would be required to produce.
“No third party is more central to this litigation than Microsoft”
“These are hard issues for any judge to resolve in a way that’s objective and meaningful,” Mehta told attorneys, “and that’s particularly so given that, with respect to the additional custodians, I don’t have any sense of the volume that would produce … or what that volume would mean for the timing of production.”
Filed in October 2020, the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google focuses on anti-competitive behavior in search and search advertising, alleging among other claims that the company’s exclusivity agreements on Android and iOS shut out competing search engines. Separate antitrust cases against Google have also been filed focusing on…