Epic antitrust case: Google finds that Google violated an order to save chat evidence
According to reports, a federal judge ruled that Google violated an antitrust court order requiring it preserve chat messages of employees related to Epic’s case. Bloomberg And CNBC. James Donato, San Francisco US District Judge, stated that the tech giant had “adopted an ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy to keep messages, at the cost of its preservation duties” and must be punished for these actions. While Donato is yet to determine what penalties and sanctions Google should face in this case, he did order Epic to pay its attorney’s fees.
Donato stated that Google had given almost 360 employees the freedom to decide whether to keep chat histories. In a separate filing by the Department of Justice Over the same complaint, the agency stated that the chatroom used by Google to discuss “substantive” and sensitive business is set to delete all chat messages within 24 hours. When it was “reasonably expected”, the agency expected Google’s chat history settings to be changed in 2019. [the] “Litigation”, but it allegedly left the final decision to each employee.
Epic Games recently supported its case with this statement. submitted exhibits This video shows how Google employees switch off chat history. Sundar Pichai, Google CEO, allegedly wrote: “…also could we change the setting for this group to history off.” According to the filing, he attempted to delete that message within seconds. Google employees reportedly also turned off chat history when discussing topics like revenue sharing and mobile apps distribution agreements. This could also be the case for a project that involves changing Google Play’s commission rates.
In a statement, a Google spokesperson said the company has worked with Epic and investigators over the years and has handed over millions of documents: “Our teams have conscientiously worked, for years, to respond to Epic and the state AGs’ discovery requests and we have produced over three million documents, including thousands of chats. They stated that they will continue to demonstrate to the court how Android, Google Play, and security are built in.
Further proceedings will be held by the judge to determine the final sanctions Google must face. Donato stated that he would like to see evidence “at the conclusion of fact discovery” so Epic could better “tell the Court what might be lost in the Chat communications.”