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Google’s San Jose Campus Triggers Lawsuit Over Deal’s Secrecy

Silicon Valley advocacy groups say city officials signed illegal nondisclosure pacts, keeping the public in the dark about a land sale.

Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California.

Photographer: Michael Short/Bloomberg

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San Jose, Calif., was sued by two nonprofit groups over a planned campus for tech giant Google, and what they contend are illegal nondisclosure agreements signed by city officials to help seal a $67 million land deal.

The NDAs were signed by San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and at least 17 municipal officials, including city council members, according to a petition filed Tuesday in California Superior Court in Santa Clara. The litigation comes amid a larger effort by advocacy groups to use public deals to wrest concessions from huge Silicon Valley companies for the benefit of subcontractors and service employees.