Abbott to Google: Don't Mess with Texas
Big news out of the Texas Attorney General’s office today. According to MLex, Texas AG Greg Abbott is suing Google in state court saying that the company has “failed to fully comply with earlier investigative subpoenas to produce documents around the state’s antitrust investigation of Google’s search and advertising practices.” According to The Wall Street Journal, the complaint says Google withheld over 14,500 documents.
The AG’s antitrust office delivered two civil investigative demands in July 2010 and May 2011 as part of the state’s ongoing investigation of whether Google is abusing a monopoly position in the search and search advertising markets.
The state’s complaint says “Google has withheld a large volume of documents based on the assertion of the attorney-client privilege and has claimed that certain documents that were produced are, in fact, privileged and should be destroyed or returned to Google” and that “Google has not met its burden of demonstrating that the privilege is applicable to many of the documents in question.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve heard about Google hindering an investigation. Earlier this year the Federal Communications Commission hit Google with a $25,000 fine for “impeding and delaying” its investigation of the Wi-Spy case—when Google’s Street View project collected and stored data from unencrypted Wi-Fi networks. The company also ignored civil investigative demands from now-U.S. Sen. Blumenthal when he was the Attorney General of Connecticut and stymied attempts by Korean competition authorities investigating the company’s business practices.
Google’s behavior continues to prove that “Trust Us” is not enough.