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Google “Suppressed” Evidence, Says Judge In Epic Case

According to the Judge overseeing Google’s current antitrust court case, he said he had “never seen anything so egregious” regarding the search titan’s willingness to get rid of evidence related to the Fortnite maker Epic Games case.

US District Judge James Donato called Google’s attempts “deeply troubling” and that he saw “disturbing evidence” in the search giant’s inability to share internal chats and directives to staff to label documents “privileged and confidential.”

Further, he claimed Google was “suppressing” evidence.

“This conduct is a frontal assault on the fair administration of justice. It undercuts due process. It calls into question just resolution of legal disputes. It is antithetical to our system,” the Judge said.

“I am going to get to the bottom of who is responsible for the suppressed evidence…That is going to be separate and apart from anything that happens here, but that day is coming.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai was asked to give an explanation as to why he asked a Google worker to “change the setting of this group to history off” and then nine seconds later, tried to erase the request.

Pichai told the Judge that he was working under orders from Alphabet’s general counsel, Kent Walker, who was responsible for the automatic deletion policy in 2008.

Walker was then made to answer by Donato on why internal comms were not preserved and said Google’s counsel was “tap-dancing around” questions.

At stake with the case is the supremacy of Google Play made possible by “Project Hug,” which is the codename for the payments to game and app developers supporting the ability to “bribe and block” other likely entrants from making their own app stores or otherwise acting as a challenger.

According to Google, the payments to developers are fair compensation only.

The Judge has suggested that Google and Epic reach a settlement, a move which they will discuss in closing arguments on Dec. 11.

Neither Google nor Epic Games have commented on the case.

A Google comment has been requested. A representative for Epic Games declined to comment.

This is the second trial between the two sparring companies.

Additionally, the US Justice Department is also battling it out with Google over its claimed monopoly over the online search market.

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