Google wants to protect confidential information regarding its business plans for its Android mobile operating system, in the upcoming antitrust trial against AT&T and T-Mobile.
A motion was filed by Google in a Washington federal court yesterday evening, asking a judge for prior disclosure to the trial, in a bid to protect the possible release of confidential information, which could harm Google's business plans for Android.
Sensitive material was turned over by Google to the U.S. Justice Department in the antitrust investigation into the AT&T and T-Mobile merger, but Google wants to make sure the information is not revealed during the proceedings.
Google, while in this case not under the spotlight in the antitrust trial -- which seeks to determine whether the AT&T and T-Mobile merger would hamper competition and affect prices -- is implicated to a degree as both wireless networks sell handsets running the Android operating system, along with other carriers.
Google may not be the only phone or operating system manufacturer in the case wanting to protect its assets. The search giant recently acquired Motorola Mobility, making the company a fully-fledged phone manufacturer.
Samsung, still locked in a bitter dispute with Apple in over twenty jurisdictions around the world, could be one of many to also intervene if it sees that the trial could affect its Android phone sales.
The U.S. Justice Department intervened last month, filing a suit to block the proposed $39 billion merger of the two cellular network giants, arguing that it would harm competition.
The antitrust trial came as no surprise to many, but could have a profound effect on the phone space industry in the United States. Seemingly split down the middle, some major technology players like Microsoft and Facebook support the bid to merge, whereas other smaller networks are concerned as they could be pushed out of the picture altogether. Related:
- U.S. Justice Dept. moves to block AT&T, T-Mobile merger
- CBS News: Google wants to protect Android plans in AT&T case
- Feds aim to block AT&T’s T-Mobile purchase: The fallout
- AT&T buys T-Mobile, woos regulators; Sprint in trouble?
- Can Sprint win over regulators in AT&T, T-Mobile merger?