The Google vs Epic trial has been an insightful peek into Google’s business, and now it looks like Google CEO Sundar Pichai is set to testify in the trial starting next week. The trial has been going on for just the past few days and already the public has learned quite a bit. Most recently Epic’s rejection of a nine-figure deal offered by Google. The deal Epic claims was an attempt by Google to stall what it thought would be a mass exodus of other big publishers. Following Epic’s choice to avoid launching Fortnite on Google Play.
Epic also claims that Google has repeatedly destroyed evidence to keep that evidence out of the courtroom. This could be a topic brought up when Pichai takes the stand. In addition to Epic’s claim about destroying evidence, Google has been accused by the US Justice Department of setting internal chats to automatically delete conversations when finished. The claim by the DOJ is part of a separate trial focused on Google’s alleged operation of an illegal monopoly over the search market.
Whereas the trial with Epic is about Google operating an illegal monopoly through Google Play.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai expected to testify on Tuesday
According to a report by The Verge, Pichai is set to take the stand on Tuesday. Google hasn’t confirmed Pichai’s involvement in the trial via testimony. However, it’s noted that Google requested the use of a podium for Tuesday which suggests that Pichai will be testifying. As he had need of one in a previous testimony during the trial with the DOJ.
Pichai is also on Epic’s witness list. So it was already suspected that he may end up taking the stand at some point before Epic’s side of the trial was finished. It’s not entirely clear if Pichai will be called to testify next week. But it seems likely. And it would make sense given his role as CEO. Not to mention how much he would have been involved in decisions that could have led to this trial.
Epic has been lobbying against Google’s Play Store efforts for years now. Claiming the company has used its money and means to prevent healthy competition for another app store on Android. A big part of Epic’s complaint is Google’s 30% cut of in-app purchase fees. Which it has argued are no longer the industry standard.