Google tees up venue clash over U.S. advertising antitrust lawsuit

  • Firm cites "judicial effectivity" in plan to hunt switch of recent DOJ lawsuit
  • DOJ may oppose such an effort, authorized consultants say

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Legal professionals for Alphabet Inc's Google LLC on Wednesday mentioned they'll ask a federal choose in Virginia to maneuver the U.S. Justice Division's antitrust lawsuit to Manhattan federal courtroom, the place the corporate is already combating claims that it has abused its market energy for internet advertising know-how.

In a filing within the Manhattan litigation, Google's attorneys mentioned transferring the lawsuit was mandatory for "judicial effectivity and to mitigate the plain danger of inconsistent judgments." Google mentioned the brand new DOJ case, filed jointly with eight states final month, which additionally alleges advertising-related abuses, overlaps with multidistrict litigation in New York that fashioned in 2021.

Google's deliberate effort units up an early doable flashpoint within the new lawsuit. The DOJ might be anticipated to oppose the corporate's try to switch the case to New York, the place it will be a part of a fancy course of involving a bunch of personal and state plaintiffs, authorized consultants following the instances advised Reuters.

A DOJ spokesperson declined to remark, as did a consultant from Google.

Google has disputed the claims within the new lawsuit, saying it "duplicates an unfounded" one which Texas filed and now's a part of the New York litigation.

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U.S. courts dealing with switch requests weigh a wide range of components, together with location of witnesses and proof.

U.S. District Decide Leonie Brinkema in Virginia was assigned to the lawsuit there. The Justice Division and eight states, together with Virginia and California, are searching for an order to drive Google to promote its advert supervisor suite, a key enterprise that was 12% of the corporate's income in 2021.

The consolidated New York instances — from Texas and different states, publishers and advertisers — are earlier than U.S. District Decide P. Kevin Castel.

Client safety professional David Vladeck at Georgetown College Regulation Heart mentioned the Justice Division may make an argument for a separate case in Virginia on the idea that its nationwide curiosity in structural reform — breaking up Google — distinguishes it from different fits over damages.

"They simply need DOJ versus Google, no person else," Vladeck mentioned. The DOJ, he mentioned, "wouldn't need in any manner, form or type" to be transferred to the multidistrict litigation in New York.

Antitrust professional Eleanor Fox, who teaches at New York College College of Regulation, predicted that the Virginia federal courtroom "would let the DOJ have its selection of discussion board and wouldn't transfer the case."

Fox additionally mentioned there's a new federal legislation that offers state plaintiffs their preference for venue in antitrust litigation.

The case is In re Google Digital Promoting Antitrust Litigation, U.S. District Court docket, Southern District of New York, 1:21-md-03010-PKC.

For state plaintiffs: Mark Lanier of The Lanier Regulation Agency

For writer class: David Boies of Boies Schiller Flexner

For advertiser class: Dena Sharp of Girard Sharp and Tina Wolfson of Ahdoot & Wolfson

For Google: Eric Mahr of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Justina Periods of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Learn extra:

Justice Dept. team suing Google includes longtime Paul Weiss partner

Judge Leonie Brinkema named to oversee U.S. lawsuit against Google

U.S. targets Google's online ad business monopoly in latest Big Tech lawsuit

Reporting by Mike Scarcella; modifying by Leigh Jones

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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