It is unclear whether Paxton has yet released or withheld any information in response to Google’s public records request. Paxton’s office didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said the company is committed to cooperating with the multi-state investigation and has provided millions of pages of documents to regulators. But, he added, “this investigation features an extraordinarily unusual arrangement with external parties. So we’re seeking transparency about the involvement of competitors or vocal complainants as part of our efforts to ensure that our confidential business information is not shared with them.”
Google’s request separately calls for information surrounding the hiring of a number of consultants Paxton has retained to help with the investigation. The list includes Roger Alford, a former Justice Department antitrust official, as well as Eugene Burrus, a former Microsoft lawyer. It asks for information on Cristina Caffarra, an economic consultant at Charles River Associates who has represented News Corp in the past.
The company also singled out Brian O’Kelley, CEO of AppNexus, and Susan Athey, an economist at Stanford University’s business school. Athey’s connection to the probe was not immediately clear, and a spokesman for Paxton didn’t respond to questions about her possible involvement. Athey is an expert in auction-based marketplaces who has long consulted for Microsoft.
Alford declined to comment for this story. Athey, Burrus, and Caffarra didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Google filed its public records request days after it asked a Texas judge to keep Paxton from releasing confidential information about the company to its consultants.
In the court petition, Google said it had exchanged numerous proposals with Paxton’s office to ensure that sensitive business information didn’t fall into the wrong hands. But, the company said, Texas’s approach “would allow disclosure of Google’s confidential information to third-party consultants who simultaneously are working for Google’s competitors or complainants in this investigation.”
In particular, Google’s filing said, Caffarra and Burrus’ hiring raised “serious confidentiality concerns.”
“Mr. Burrus, like Ms. Caffarra, has spent many years working for parties who compete with Google, have sued Google, or both,” it said in the petition.