The US Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google’s advertising practices is moving fast

A federal judge on Friday laid out a fast-paced schedule in a challenging US Justice Department antitrust case. Google LLC’s digital advertising technology, making the case go faster than both parties suggested.

U.S. District Court Judge John Anderson of Alexandria, Virginia, after a brief hearing, issued an order establishing January 18, 2024 as the date that Alphabet Attorneys for Google and Inc’s Department of Justice must disclose factual evidence and expert reports. Lawyers for both sides sought at least another five months to prepare for the trial.

The faster pace of litigation could put additional pressure on both sides, but especially on Google in formulating its defense, based on what the company in the court complaint calls “a imbalance” in the proceedings.

Google argues that it needs more time because, unlike the Justice Department, it is not in favor of an investigation “with the power to subpoena the federal government.”

Google told the judge that the case “has complex and extremely serious issues, the resolution of which will affect businesses across the United States.”

The judge’s order does not start the trial.

A Justice Department spokesperson and a representative for Google were unavailable for comment on Friday.

The Justice Department and eight states filed a lawsuit in January, seeking to force Google to sell its advertising management suite, claiming that the company unlawfully restricted competition over ad technology. The case is one of two antitrust actions by the Justice Department against Google.

The other, filed in October 2020 and challenging Google’s search business, will go to trial in federal court in Washington, DC in September.

Google has denied the claims in both cases.

The Eastern District of Virginia is often referred to as “the rocket” because of its speed of proceedings.

U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, assigned to the digital advertising case, will chair the pre-trial conference in January.

© Thomson Reuters 2023

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