“Thank you, but we’ll settle our dispute without your help.”
That, in essence, is the message from the Department of Justice and AT&T to Google, as reported on The Blog of Legal Times. The DOJ and AT&T, of course, are at odds over AT&T’s desire to merge with T-Mobile.
Anyhow, Google has voiced concerns over how the parties will handle confidential information that Google recently turned over to the DOJ relating to the agency’s anti-trust action against AT&T. Lawyers in the case are already required to file confidential material under seal, the BLT noted. “Thus, providing advance notice of a filing does not provide additional protection,” DOJ attorneys Joseph Wayland and Christine Hill said in a governments filing Tuesday.
Besides, the DOJ said, the parties must alert Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle of U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before discussing any confidential material. At that time, the judge can decide whether to close the courtroom to the public.
The case is supposed to go to trial early next year. Several states have joined the DOJ’s anti-trust action against AT&T, so the case may last for a while. But for a moment, at least, the DOJ and AT&T agree: “Stay out of this, Google!”