Google has lost a bid to slow-track the antitrust lawsuit brought against it by search marketer myTriggers.com.
Judge John Bessey in Columbus, Ohio ruled last week that myTriggers.com can immediately start obtaining documents, emails and other evidence from Google. The search giant had unsuccessfully argued that discovery should be delayed pending a decision on its motion to dismiss the lawsuit.
MyTriggers, a comparison shopping search company, alleges that it was forced to stop purchasing AdWords ads after Google lowered myTriggers' quality score, causing the cost of pay-per-click ads to spike by as much as 10,000 percent.
MyTriggers' lead lawyer, Joe Bial of Cadwalader, Wickersham and Taft, says he pushed for a fast timetable in the case. "We have a client that's on life support," he said. "There should be no delay in determining whether Google's conduct was anticompetitive."
Google unsuccessfully argued in court papers that it didn't make sense to begin the extensive discovery process until a court had evaluated whether to dismiss the case at a preliminary stage. "In light of the costs associated with antitrust discovery in this case, namely significant expert discovery, extensive document review, and a plethora of depositions, the burden on Google to engage in discovery while this court is determining if myTriggers' case should proceed would be extraordinarily high," the company argued.
Bial also represents another search marketer, TradeComet, in a similar case against Google. A federal judge in New York recently dismissed that lawsuit on the grounds that the company should have filed the lawsuit in California. TradeComet is appealing that decision.