U.S. Justice Department objects to Google advertising price secrecy

Share post:

The U.S. Justice Department is objecting to removing the public from the court during some discussions of how Google prices online advertising, one of the issues at the heart of the antitrust trial under way in Washington.

The government is seeking to show that Google broke antitrust law to maintain its dominance in online search. The search dominance led to fast-increasing advertising revenues that made Google a $1 trillion company.

At a hearing, David Dahlquist, speaking for the government, pointed to a document that was redacted that had a short back and forth about Google’s pricing for search advertising. Dahlquist then argued to Judge Amit Mehta, who will decide the case, that information like the tidbit in the document should not be redacted. “This satisfies public interest because it’s at the core of the DOJ case against Google,” he said.

Speaking for Google, John Schmidtlein urged that all discussions of pricing be in a closed session, which means the public and reporters must leave the courtroom.

“Litigation is a pretty grueling process,” said Katherine Van Dyck, an experienced litigator and senior legal counsel at the American Economic Liberties Project. “When you have these cases with massive, broad public interest and public import, the courts need to do a better job of taking that into account, change their rules and keep up with modern technology.”

Van Dyck also pointed out that the court has already closed the trial to the public for significant periods of time, including during testimony by a Verizon executive about the company’s decision to always pre-install Google’s Chrome browser with Google search on its mobile phones.

“It’s possible that he was asked about Google’s payments to Verizon but the public will never know,” Van Dyck said. “Those payments – which the government said are $10 billion annually to mobile carriers and others – helped the California-based tech giant win powerful default positions on smartphones and elsewhere.”

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

Featured Tech Jobs

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Related articles

Silicon Valley tech founder sentenced to prison for fraud

In a significant shake-up in Silicon Valley, Manish Lachwani, co-founder and former CEO of the mobile app-testing company...

Canadian police need a search warrant to get your IP address: Supreme Court

An IP address is the key to unlocking a user's internet identity the court's majority

One billion dollar copyright infringement killed on appeal

The $1 billion copyright infringement verdict against Cox Communications was overturned by a federal appeals court, which ruled...

Concerns raised about National Security Agency purchasing American’s personal data from brokers

A US Senator, Ron Wyden, has raised concerns about the National Security Agency (NSA) purchasing Americans' personal data,...

Become a member

New, Relevant Tech Stories. Our article selection is done by industry professionals. Our writers summarize them to give you the key takeaways