A judge has decided that Google did something wrong and needs to be punished for it. According to the reports, Google didn’t follow the court order given to them which required them to save messages related to the antitrust case between Epic and Google. Judge James Donato said that the tech giant adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy when they were supposed to record those messages. He hasn’t yet announced what punishments and penalties he will give but he has ordered Google to pay for Epic’s lawyer fees related to this specific issue.
Donato said that Google gave some of their employees the choice to save chat histories, if they wanted. The Department of Justice said in another paper that Google’s internal chat system was set to delete messages within 24 hours by default. They wanted Google to change its settings in 2019 when it could have predicted this conflict may happen, but instead, every employee got to make the decision for themselves.
Epic Games submitted evidence to show how Google employees are trying to hide their conversations. At one point in 2021, the CEO of Google tried deleting a message he sent saying “can we change the setting of this group to history off”. They changed chat histories when discussing topics like money sharing, mobile app distribution deals, and deciding on commission rates for Play Store purchases.
A spokesperson from Google said that they have been cooperating with Epic and investigators over several years already, and gave them a bunch of papers – around 3 million documents which even include thousands of conversations. Plus, the company showedbefore court how Android and Google Play can give people their own choice for security as well as openness.