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Google, Microsoft fight over documents in antitrust lawsuit

The search giant claims Microsoft won’t hand over records, while Microsoft asks why it should

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ)  massive antitrust lawsuit against Google is still going on. The latest wrinkle is Google and Microsoft battling over whether the latter must turn over crucial business records.

Google has asked a federal judge to order Microsoft to turn over these documents, but  Microsoft wondered why it should have to.

Google served a subpoena to Microsoft a few months ago seeking records relating to Microsoft’s Bing search engine and its Internet Explorer and Edge internet browsers. Google thinks the records will reveal whether Microsoft was restrained from competing with Google or if it just failed to compete successfully.

Google’s search engine is the market leader by a huge margin, while Bing’s search market share remains in single digits. Google’s Chrome browser also competes with Microsoft’s browsers.

In a court filing unsealed late Thursday, Google said Microsoft failed to comply with the subpoena, according to Reuters.

“In particular, there are 19 Microsoft employees who held important positions relating to activities at the core of this case but whose files Microsoft refuses to commit to search at this time,” Google said in its court filing.

Meanwhile, Microsoft complained in a court filing that Google’s legal demands are too burdensome. Microsoft says Google’s additional requests for records means Microsoft would have to search the files of 55 employees and former employees.

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Microsoft argues that Google isn’t offering specific reasons for why it needs these additional files. Google claims the documents it’s seeking are relevant to the case.

Last October, the Justice Department sued Google, kicking off a spate of federal and state antitrust lawsuits against the search giant and Facebook

The DOJ says a year-long investigation found that Google improperly used its digital dominance to negatively affect corporate rivals and consumers. 

The lawsuit could have serious implications for Google and the entire tech industry, which is under scrutiny due to the amount of data, money, and power it has amassed.

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