After a brief hearing, U.S. Magistrate Judge John Anderson issued an order setting Jan. 18, 2024, as the date when Alphabet Inc's Google and Justice Department lawyers must disclose factual evidence and experts reports. Lawyers for both sides had asked at least five additional months to prepare for trial.
The litigation could put more pressure on both sides, but particularly on Google in building its defense, based on what the company called an imbalance in the proceedings, according to a court filing.
Google argued that it needed more time because it did not have the benefit of an investigation with the federal government s subpoena power, unlike the Justice Department. The case presents complex and extremely consequential issues, and will affect businesses across the United States, according to Google. The trial started on the judge's order.
A Justice Department spokeswoman and a Google representative had no comment on Friday.
The Justice Department and eight states filed the case in January, trying to force Google to sell its ad manager suite, claiming that the company unlawfully curbed competition over advertising technology. The case is one of two Justice Department antitrust actions against Google.
The other, filed in October 2020, challenging Google's search business, is set to trial in Washington, D.C. federal court in September.
Google has denied the claims in both cases.
The Eastern District of Virginia is known as a rocket docket for its pace of proceedings.
U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema, assigned to the digital advertising case, will preside at the January pretrial conference.