Tech companies tied to U.S. lawsuit against Google get more time to propose protective order

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Google is seen in Davos, Switzerland Januar 20, 2020. Picture taken January 20, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp MSFT.O, Oracle Corp ORCL.N and other companies that have provided information to the U.S. government for its antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet's Google GOOGL.O were granted more time on Wednesday to propose a protective order for their confidential data.

The group, which also includes AT&T Inc T.N, AMZN.O, Comcast Corp CMCSA.O, Duck Duck Go, Inc, Sonos, Inc SONO.O, and T-Mobile US, Inc TMUS.O, had told federal Judge Amit Mehta that they would not be able to make proposals by Friday and had sought an extension until Nov. 20. Mehta granted their request late Wednesday.

The Justice Department sued Google on Oct. 20, accusing the $1 trillion company of illegally using its market muscle to hobble rivals, in the biggest challenge to the power and influence of Big Tech in decades.

Google has said it will fight the lawsuit.

The parties cooperating with the government said in a court filing that they gave the Justice Department investigators information, including business plans and strategies for competing with Google.

“One of the key issues here is the extent to which Google personnel will gain access (by virtue of being named a defendant in an antitrust lawsuit) to the non-parties’ most sensitive confidential business documents,” the companies said in a joint request filed with the court.

The companies said they wanted to have access to draft protective orders proposed by Google and the Justice Department, which are due Friday, before writing their own.

Reporting by Diane Bartz; Additional reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Tom Brown and Uttaresh.V