In a filing Friday in federal court in Washington, Apple said it gave the U.S. Justice Department “competitively sensitive” documents and that allowing lawyers inside Google to see the information would result in “material harm” to Apple. A similar joint filing was made by
Concerns about such disclosures have emerged since the government sued Google for allegedly abusing its power to thwart competition. The Justice Department and Google have clashed over the extent of access to information collected by the government before it sued. The judge overseeing the case,
The Justice Department has proposed allowing companies that provided information to designate their most sensitive documents as “highly confidential,” which would prevent access to Google’s in-house lawyers, according to court papers. The U.S.
Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search engine the default browser option on iPhones and other products, according to analyst estimates. In its court filing, the iPhone maker said the documents at issue relate to its negotiations with Google and other search engines and Apple’s internal deliberations about those discussions.
“Disclosure of this information to Google would directly implicate future business dealings between Apple and Google, provide Google with a substantial advantage over Apple in negotiations, and potentially disadvantage competitor search engines that negotiate with Apple and other software providers,” it said.
(Updates with filing by Amazon and other companies.)
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Steve Stroth, Peter Blumberg
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