Google asks court to protect private info amid antitrust investigation

Search giant Google filed a petition for a protective order in a Texas court on Thursday, regarding an antitrust probe the state’s attorney general Ken Paxton is leading.

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Google and its parent company Alphabet are moving to protect the company’s private business data from being revealed to competitors since Paxton has brought on a handful of outside consultants for the investigation – including a pair who have worked for the tech giant’s competitors. In the petition, Google voices concerns that data obtained by these individuals through the investigation could be used to assist a competitor.

"We’ve provided millions of pages of documents in response to regulatory inquiries, and we’re committed to cooperating," a spokesperson for Google said in a statement. "But this is an extraordinarily irregular arrangement and it’s only fair to have assurances that our confidential business information won’t be shared with competitors or vocal complainants.” 

- Google 

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A spokesperson for Paxton’s office did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment.

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Paxton is the leader of the investigation into possible antitrust violations, which includes about 50 other attorneys general from 48 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico.

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Google is just one of a handful of large technology companies in the U.S. that have come under scrutiny throughout recent months over their business practices and dominant marketplace positions. Facebook, Amazon and Apple are being looked at, as well.

Facebook is facing its own separate antitrust probes, including one being conducted by the Federal Trade Commission – which fined the social media company $5 billion for mishandling consumer data.

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