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Google wants Android info kept secret in DOJ's AT&T lawsuit

updated 09:45 am EDT, Wed September 28, 2011

Google worries ATT lawsuit leaks plans to Apple

Google late Tuesday filed a motion asking US District Judge Ellen Huvelle to keep confidential Android details in the DOJ lawsuit over the AT&T merger. It was concerned that AT&T, T-Mobile, or the DOJ might reveal "competitively sensitive" detals, such as when new versions of Android or devices might ship. The filing seen by Bloomberg showed Google worried that the media or a rival like Apple would get information without Google knowing it would be made public.

"Without such additional protection [from a guarantee], Google and other non- parties could find their confidential information -- such as Google's business plans related to Android -- in the hands of competitors (or their competitors' consultants), or even in newspapers," the search firm said.

The lawsuit may require that AT&T and T-Mobile try to prove that they won't hurt device exclusivity deals through merging. T-Mobile has made a point of getting exclusive Android devices, such as the myTouch line, as well as being the first to carry reference Android phones like the Nexus One and Nexus S. While a few might just transition over, it could lead to fewer overall unique designs. Sprint has complained that phone makers would be reluctant to give exclusives beyond AT&T knowing that it commanded the majority of the US smartphone market.

Apple has often banked on its special deals with carriers and may want to see what Android makers like HTC, Motorola, and Samsung are negotiating with carriers. Theoretically, it could time iPhone and iPad releases to overshadow their Android equivalents.

By Electronista Staff


  1. dliup

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006



    There's Google "openness" for you

  1. Salty

    Professional Poster

    Joined: Jul 2005



    Android is so open, but they don't want release details made public, but they had no problem with Eric being on Apple's board and syphoning off a million details about the iPhone.

  1. revco

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2005


    Oh Google.

    Just tick the do not share box on the front of the form and all should be fine. Really. Trust the tick.

  1. SockRolid

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Jan 2010


    Not just a bag of hurt

    All this legal stuff has grown into a raging dumpster fire of hurt for Google.

    The Oracle suit alone is bad enough. The judge has all but told Google that they have lost the case, and it's just a matter of determining whether to ban Android sales or to force Google to pay Oracle.

    Then there was the Motorola Mobility suit that they defended against by actually buying Motorola Mobility to shut them up. $12.5 billion in hush money. Google paid a 63% premium over the current market value.

    And we're just at the start of the Apple vs. Android and Android manufacturers wars. Apple has won all their infringement cases against Samsung so far. Legal precedent yadda yadda.

    And now lawsuits that don't even directly involve Google are starting to bite them. Not that "Google's business plans related to Android" are exactly a secret or anything. It has been and always will be "sucker in as many manufacturers as possible with 'free' and 'open', then show ads to users to generate revenue from advertisers."

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