Google wants confidential Android info protected in AT&T/T-Mobile litigation

Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is seeking to have confidential information related to its Android platform protected in the Department of Justice's lawsuit to block AT&T's (NYSE:T) proposed $39 billion acquisition of T-Mobile USA.

The search giant filed a motion in U.S. District Court in Washington to ensure the "safeguarding [of] confidential, competitively sensitive information" that could be disclosed in the case. Google provided information related to "internal development and launch plans" to the Justice Department as part of the agency's investigation into the deal. AT&T and T-Mobile sell Google's Android phones.

Google urged U.S. District Judge Ellen Huvelle, who is overseeing the case, to have the parties involved give it priority notice for when confidential information might be disclosed, and warned that "business plans related to Android" could wind up in the hands of competitors or in the media without this protection.

Earlier this month, Huvelle set a trial date between the Justice Department and AT&T for Feb. 13.

Neither side is expected to have an absolutely airtight case, with some legal experts arguing that it will be critical for the Justice Department to establish in court that competition in the wireless market exists on a national level and that MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS) and Cricket provider Leap Wireless (NASDAQ:LEAP) would not provide adequate competition if T-Mobile were removed from the market. On the other hand, some experts contend it will be difficult to establish T-Mobile as a strong force in the market, given its recent customer losses, declining market share and lack of a clear path to launch LTE service.  

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article
- see this Dow Jones Newswires article (sub. req.)
- see this National Journal article

Related Articles:
AT&T's Stephenson: We will argue for efficiencies from T-Mobile deal
Sprint's Hesse: DOJ lawsuit against AT&T/T-Mobile won't prevent consolidation
Cellular South jumps into fray, sues to block AT&T/T-Mobile
Analysts see network-sharing arrangement if AT&T/T-Mobile merger collapses

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