According to a filing this week, the DOJ asserted Google “continually failed to disclose” its policy of auto-deleting certain internal chat logs of employees after 24 hours. The government signaled it wanted the logs as part of its broader case against the company.
“Google’s daily destruction of written records prejudiced the United States by depriving it of a rich source of candid discussions between Google’s executives, including likely trial witnesses,” the DOJ said.
Google has pushed back, maintaining it preserved all potentially relevant communications. In a statement to CNN, Google said, “We strongly refute the DOJ’s claims.”
“Our teams have conscientiously worked for years to respond to inquiries and litigation. In fact, we have produced over 4 million documents in this case alone, and millions more to regulators around the world,” the company added.
The broader antitrust case targets Google’s market power in the search industry. It is part of a growing litany of antitrust cases facing the tech giant as regulators and lawmakers in the U.S. and abroad take a harsh look at competition in the tech industry.
Google has pushed back on the allegations of anti-competitive behavior in search.
The DOJ filed a second lawsuit against Google earlier this year. Catch up on more of the legal challenges facing Google in our previous coverage at TheHill.com.