A US magistrate judge in Virginia has set a fast-paced schedule in the antitrust lawsuit filed by the US Justice Department against Google, which is challenging the company’s digital advertising technology practices. The schedule is moving the case along more quickly than either party had proposed. Judge John Anderson ordered Google and the Justice Department lawyers to disclose factual evidence and expert reports on January 18, 2024. This is earlier than the date sought by both sides, who had requested at least five additional months to prepare for trial.
The faster pace of litigation could put additional pressure on both sides, but particularly on Google, which may face difficulty building its defense. Google has claimed that it needs more time because it did not have the benefit of an investigation “with the federal government’s subpoena power,” unlike the Justice Department. In a court filing, Google called the case “imbalance” and argued that its resolution will affect businesses across the United States.
The judge’s order did not set a trial start, and a spokesperson for the Justice Department and a representative from Google had no comment on the matter. The Justice Department, along with eight states, filed the case in January, alleging that Google unlawfully curbed competition over advertising technology and seeking to force the company to sell its ad manager suite. This case is one of two antitrust actions against Google that the Justice Department has filed.
Google has denied the claims made in both cases. The Eastern District of Virginia, where the case is being heard, is known as a “rocket docket” due to its pace of proceedings. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, who is assigned to the digital advertising case, will preside at the January pretrial conference.