Seven leading technology companies have joined together to file an amici seeking to overturn a recent Texas appellate ruling that may compel online publishers to release information about the identity of anonymous reviewers who commented on working conditions at Andra Group LP. At issue in the appeal is the intersection of the Texas Citizens Participation Act — Texas' anti-Strategic Law Against Public Participation, or anti-SLAPP law — and the state's Rule 202, a procedural tool that allows a party to take a deposition to investigate a potential lawsuit or claim.

The amici want the Texas Supreme Court to clarify that parties who seek pre-suit depositions under Rule 202 could also be subject to pay attorneys' fees under the TCPA if their cases are dismissed. "That kind of clarity is important not only for their business, but for speech," said Ballard Spahr attorney Ashley I. Kissinger. "Their businesses are fundamentally supporting freedom of speech on important topics of public concern."

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