Press Releases

Statement on Judge Mehta Denying Motion for Live Audio Feed During Google Trial

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Judge Mehta denied the motion filed by Demand Progress, American Economic Liberties Project, Open Markets Institute, and the Revolving Door Project asking the Court to provide a publicly available audio feed of the unsealed portions of the upcoming Google Search antitrust trial.

In response to this news from Judge Mehta, Demand Progress Communications Director Maria Langholz issued the following statement:

“Public transparency and accountability suffered a serious blow today when Judge Mehta rejected the motion by Demand Progress and other civil society organizations to secure meaningful public access to the most consequential antitrust trial of the modern tech era so far.

“We are disappointed by Judge Mehta’s cramped approach to the request for public access. Even as his order discusses public access to the courts during the pandemic, it neglects to note that many courts across the country granted the public real-time video and audio access to civil trials without issue. As the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has emphasized, ‘Our Constitution and court tradition give citizens the right of access to court proceedings. Citizens gain confidence in the courts by seeing judicial work in action, and learn first-hand how the judicial system works.’

“But now, due to Judge Mehta’s ruling, it will be the lobbyists, public relations consultants, and other highly paid plants of Google and other big tech companies who will be able to access the trial in real time by flying in and attending in person, while ordinary Americans and reporters who do not live in the D.C. area will be shut out.

“We are concerned about what Judge Mehta’s deference to Google’s anti-transparency arguments will portend for the rest of the proceedings.”