What To Watch For in the First Monopoly Trial of U.S. vs Google

Karina Montoya is a journalist with a background in business, finance, and technology reporting for U.S. and South American media. She researches and reports on broad media competition issues and data privacy at the Center for Journalism & Liberty, a program of the Open Markets Institute, in Washington, D.C. The trial for the first antitrust case the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has brought against Google will kick off in D.C. today, but the public won’t be able to access any online feeds or recordings of it. Last Friday Judge Amit Mehta denied a request by several non-profit organizations– including my employer, Open Markets Institute– that sought to make public an audio feed of the unsealed portions of the case. The case, in short, is about whether Google’s quest to dominate the search engine market broke U.S. antitrust laws. But unlike the last big tech monopoly trial in the nation’s courts, U.S. vs Microsoft in 1998, from which we have recordings of Bill Gates’ deposition, this time Google argued that because these proceedings may force it to reveal trade secrets, the public should be denied a live feed of the trial.  This is bad news not only for the public’s right to access public-interest information, but also for journalists trying to cover the trial from their own corners of the world. Only a limited number of reporters will attend the court in person, and we should expect them to access the courtroom only on the trial days that aren’t “sensitive”…What To Watch For in the First Monopoly Trial of U.S. vs Google