Microsoft, which cooperated with the US prosecutors in building a 2020 antitrust case against Google, is now facing a subpoena to produce millions of more documents at the request of Google’s defense team, the media reported.
According to a report in The Verge on Friday, judge Amit Mehta said that “more information was required before the court could give guidance as to how much internal data Microsoft would be required to produce”.
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed an antitrust case against Google in 2020 that focused on anti-competitive behavior in search and search advertising.
Microsoft has provided more than 400,000 documents to civil investigative demands from prosecutors.
“In a filing before today’s hearing, Google argued that participation entitles the company to a similar range of documents that might be helpful to its defense,” the report noted.
Google first issued a subpoena to Microsoft in April, seeking “older documents that will shed light on whether Microsoft was actually restrained from competing with Google, or whether it simply failed to compete successfully on the merits.”
“But Microsoft agreed to only eight of the 27 executives to be searched, and drastically limited the search strings to which they would be subject”.
Google has now asked for a more powerful court order to compel the production of documents from Microsoft.
In October 2020, the US Justice Department and 11 states sued Google for antitrust violations, alleging that it weaponized its dominance in online search and advertising to kill off competition and harm consumers.
The lawsuit marked the US government’s biggest move since its case against Microsoft more than 20 years ago. This came after 15 months of investigation and could be the opening scene of more antitrust actions against other Big Tech companies.
Google is also facing a new multi-state antitrust lawsuit in the US that accuses the tech giant of abusing its market power to stifle competitors.
The lawsuit, filed by a coalition of 37 attorneys general co-led by New York Attorney General Letitia James earlier this month, alleged that Google is forcing consumers into in-app payments that grant the company a hefty cut.