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Business News/ Companies / People/  Epic Games set to summon Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to testify in antitrust trial over Google Play policies

Epic Games set to summon Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai to testify in antitrust trial over Google Play policies

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai is set to be called by Epic Games Inc. to testify in antitrust trial over Google Play policies

Epic Games to summon Alphabet CEO to testify in antitrust trial on Google Play's policies (AP)Premium
Epic Games to summon Alphabet CEO to testify in antitrust trial on Google Play's policies (AP)

Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai is set to be summoned by Epic Games Inc. to testify in an antitrust trial over Google Play policies, according to Court filings Sundar Pichai will testify in an upcoming antitrust trial regarding Google Play's policies which could potentially impact billions of dollars in the app marketplace revenue, reported Bloomberg.

According to Court filings, Pichai and Epic's CEO Tim Sweeney have been among the listed witnesses in a trial scheduled to commence on November 6 in a San Francisco federal court. This trial will scrutinise whether Google Play's policies are unlawful and prevent competition. The dispute originated when Epic sued Alphabet's Google in 2020, alleging that the distribution, payment, and fee policies of its app store violated the law.

The case is In Re Google Play Store Antitrust Litigation, 21-md-02981, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

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This legal battle is a part of a broader antitrust fight that includes complaints filed by around three dozen state attorneys general, consumers, and Match Group Inc., all accusing Google of monopolistic behaviour.

In addition to the Google Play trial, Pichai is also scheduled to provide testimony in the ongoing Washington trial in the coming weeks, where the US Justice Department accused Alphabet of maintaining a monopoly in web search.

Recently, Alphabet tentatively settled complaints brought by consumers and state attorneys general alleging that Google Play abused its control over Android mobile applications. The specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed in court filings. If finalised, this settlement would narrow the scope of the extensive antitrust dispute, focusing the legal battle on Epic and Match's claims that Google used its monopoly power to crush the competition in the Android app distribution market.

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During the trial, Epic's lawyers are expected to interrogate Pichai for an hour on various topics including Android business practices and Google's agreements with wireless carriers and mobile device manufacturers, according to September 5 court filings. Google's legal team may also call Pichai to testify for 30 minutes to defend its app marketplace policies.

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Both Epic and Google's legal teams plan to summon Sweeney with each side allotting 90 minutes for his testimony. Sweeney's testimony will encompass Epic's Games Store business and the game maker's interactions with Google Play and Android.

( With inputs from Bloomberg)

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Published: 07 Oct 2023, 07:10 AM IST
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