On October 7, 2009, as scheduled, Judge Denny Chin held a status conference among the parties to the Authors’ Guild et al. v. Google, Inc. lawsuit to consider the settlement agreement reached between the parties. Jessica E. Vascellaro, “Google Gets Until Nov. 9 to Revise Book Pact,” The Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2009. During this status conference, the Court set November 9, 2009 as the new date for the Final Fairness Hearing. Id.
As described in prior posts on this topic, October 7 had been the anticipated Final Fairness Hearing to consider the settlement agreement, but due to the overwhelming number of filings (both in opposition and in support of the settlement agreement), and particularly the Statement of Interest filed by the Department of Justice in which the DOJ raised several preliminary concerns on antitrust grounds to the settlement. In that brief, the DOJ made “suggestions” about changes that needed to be made to the settlement agreement in order to account for potential antitrust concerns.
As further reported previously, Plaintiffs requested a continuance (uncontested by Google) of the October 7 Hearing to permit negotiations among the parties and the DOJ to make sure that these concerns had been addressed. See Motion and Memorandum of Law in Support. While the Court granted the request for a continuance, he required the parties to attend a status conference instead. See Court’s September 24, 2009 Order.