Google, along with other companies such as Apple and Microsoft, is fighting for privacy and limited transparency in an ongoing antitrust trial that highlights Google’s dominance in online search. The internet giant argues that disclosing commercially sensitive information in open court would cause irreparable harm to its competitive standing. The New York Times reports that Google filed 35 motions and responses in the case, with nearly two-thirds of them sealed. This approach has made the trial and its proceedings incredibly secretive, creating what may be the most secretive antitrust trial in recent history.
As the U.S. et al. v. Google trial enters its third week, the push for privacy and limited transparency continues. Google, Apple, and Microsoft are all advocating for the trial to be closed off to the public in order to protect their interests. Additionally, Apple has gone as far as fighting to quash subpoenas, claiming that they are unduly burdensome and aiming to exempt its executives from testifying. This collective effort to maintain privacy and limit transparency reflects the companies’ concerns regarding the potential impact on their competitive positions if sensitive information is exposed during the trial.
The secrecy surrounding the trial has garnered attention and raised concerns about the lack of public access to such significant proceedings. With Google filing a majority of its motions and responses under seal, the trial has become remarkably concealed. Critics argue that this level of secrecy hinders transparency and prevents the public from fully understanding and engaging with the case. As the trial continues, the debate over the balance between privacy and transparency within the antitrust trial and its potential implications for the future of the internet industry intensifies.