The Google vs Epic Games trial has picked up a little bit today with testimony from Google CEO Sundar Pichai. Notably, Pichai took the stand and answered questions from Epic lawyers throughout an hour-long testimony that reportedly centered on Pichai’s involvement in Google allegedly destroying evidence that could be used against it in court.
Pichai says that he never tried to hide documents from lawsuits. But he did sometimes mark certain documents as “privileged” if they were deemed confidential. “I supported all recommendations from our legal and compliance team,” Pichai said when being asked by Epic lawyers about trying to prevent certain documentation from ending up as legal evidence that could be used against the company.
Google’s trial with Epic Games began the first week of November and rides on allegations that Google’s Play Store is an illegal monopoly. Epic claims Google has worked to prevent any sort of competition for the Play Store in regard to in-app purchases. At the beginning of the trial Epic claimed that Google destroyed evidence that could help show this activity. It’s also more recently been revealed that Google tried to offer Epic over $147 million over a three-year period to bring Fortnite to the Play Store. A deal which Epic rejected.
This entire court case stems from Epic’s discontent over the Play Store’s 30% licensing fees. A complaint which it’s also had with Apple’s App Store on iOS. To which it was also in court over.
Epic vs Google: testimony from CEO reveals employees had discretion over chat history
It’s not entirely clear how much control employees had. But according to Reuters, Pichai says that Google recently changed a policy with the internal chat. He notes that Google gave employees the go-ahead to decide if their internal chat history would be relevant to litigation.
Suggesting that there was less executive management. Pichai says the Google largely gave employees this discretion since 2008. Pichai does not appear to mention how recently this policy was changed though. Nor what the policy was changed to or if employees have the same kind of control in this matter.
Epic’s claim of Google destroying evidence nearly parities a complaint that Google has faced in its trial with the US Department of Justice. Where DOJ lawyers reference a similar document that show Sundar Pichai asking for chat history to be turned off.
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