U.S. Justice Dept says Google depositions should be in person

WASHINGTON, June 29 (Reuters) – An attorney for the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday that he wanted depositions planned for August in an antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) to be live rather than on Zoom.

The government hopes to question, or depose, three people in August, one Google employee and two people who left Google, one in 2011 and 2013.

The government sued Google last year, alleging that it broke antitrust law in seeking to hobble rivals. That lawsuit has been combined for discovery purposes with a broader antitrust lawsuit brought by 38 states and territories. read more

“We wanted to let the court know that it is our hope to do all or most of these depositions in person,” said the Justice Department’s Kenneth Dintzer, noting that the three first people that he wanted to depose were in California. “It is our understanding that California is re-open.”

Dintzer also said in the status conference, which was being held remotely, that he hoped to also return to regular court hearings.

Judge Amit Mehta of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia also discussed whether the Justice Department should be allowed to see performance reviews of executives that the government is considering calling as witnesses. read more

Mehta said that after reading a sample of the reviews that they were potentially useful but urged the government to request performance reviews only of people they wanted to depose. He further asked the two sides to agree on a protocol for safeguarding anything personal in them.

Reporting by Diane Bartz, Editing by William Maclean

Source: Reuters