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The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

In just under a month, one of the most highly anticipated trials in the tech industry will begin: the Epic v. Google lawsuit. While much attention has been focused on other big tech cases lately, it’s important not to overlook the significance of this one. The trial is set to take place in the United States District Court in California’s Northern District, and the court has already released a list of witnesses who may be called to testify. Some key names on the list include Andy Rubin, the “father of Android,” Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet, and Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. This trial will center around Epic’s allegations of anticompetitive behavior by Google in relation to its Google Play store practices. All eyes will be on the courtroom as these tech giants square off in what is sure to be an epic legal battle.

The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

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Table of Contents

Background

Introduction to Epic’s antitrust lawsuit against Google

In this ongoing legal battle, Epic Games, the creator of popular video game Fortnite, has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, accusing the tech giant of anti-competitive practices and monopolistic behavior. The lawsuit alleges that Google used its dominant position in the mobile app market to stifle competition and maintain its control over the distribution of apps.

Trial date and location

The trial is scheduled to begin on November 6th, in the United States District Court in California’s Northern District. It has been almost 10 months since the trial date was set, and it is expected to be closely watched by the tech industry and legal experts alike.

Tentative list of witnesses released by the court

The court has released a tentative list of witnesses for the trial, giving us a glimpse into who will be called to testify. The witness list includes executives and key figures from both Epic Games and Google, shedding light on the perspectives that will be presented during the trial.

Epic’s Witness List

Sundar Pichai (Google and Alphabet CEO)

One of the most prominent witnesses on Epic’s list is Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and its parent company, Alphabet. Pichai’s testimony will likely provide insights into Google’s practices, decision-making, and the company’s perspective on the allegations made by Epic Games.

Ruth Porat (Google and Alphabet CFO)

Ruth Porat, the CFO of Google and Alphabet, is another key witness for Epic. Porat’s testimony is expected to shed light on the financial aspects of Google’s operations, including the app store practices that Epic Games has raised concerns about.

Tim Sweeney (Epic CEO)

Tim Sweeney, the CEO of Epic Games, is expected to testify on behalf of his company. Sweeney’s testimony will likely focus on the grievances that Epic Games has against Google, including the alleged anti-competitive campaign that Google launched to discourage other developers from leaving the Google Play store.

Andy Rubin (Co-founder of Android and Essential)

Andy Rubin, often referred to as the “father of Android,” is a notable name on Epic’s witness list. As one of the co-founders of Android and Essential, Rubin’s testimony could provide valuable insights into the early days of the Android operating system and any relationship with Google that may be relevant to the case.

Nick Sears (Co-founder of Android)

Nick Sears, another co-founder of Android, is listed as a witness on Epic’s list. Sears’ testimony could provide additional information about the early development and growth of the Android operating system.

Armin Zerza (Activision CFO)

Armin Zerza, the CFO of Activision, is included in Epic’s witness list. Activision is a major player in the gaming industry, and Zerza’s testimony may shed light on the financial aspects of the case and its potential impact on the gaming industry as a whole.

Eric Chu (Former Open Handset Alliance head)

Eric Chu, the former head of the Open Handset Alliance, is also listed as a witness for Epic. The Open Handset Alliance played a crucial role in the development and promotion of the Android operating system, and Chu’s testimony may provide insights into the dynamics between Google and other members of the alliance.

The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

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Google’s Witness List

Sundar Pichai (Google and Alphabet CEO)

Similar to Epic’s witness list, Google intends to call its CEO, Sundar Pichai, as a witness. Pichai’s testimony will likely present Google’s perspective on the issues raised by Epic Games and provide insights into the company’s practices and policies.

Ruth Porat (Google and Alphabet CFO)

Ruth Porat, the CFO of Google and Alphabet, is also on Google’s witness list. Her testimony will likely address the financial aspects of Google’s operations and shed light on the company’s app store practices.

Rich Miner (Co-founder of Android)

Rich Miner, a co-founder of Android and current Google employee, is listed as a potential witness for Google. Miner’s involvement in the early development of Android could provide relevant context and insights into Google’s relationship with Epic Games.

Epic’s Allegations

Google Play store practices

Epic Games alleges that Google’s practices within the Google Play store are anti-competitive. One of the key issues raised is Google’s requirement for app developers to use its in-app payment system, which takes a 30% commission on each transaction. Epic Games argues that this practice stifles competition and limits consumer choice.

Anticompetitive campaign against Epic

Epic Games claims that after it decided to bypass the Google Play store and distribute Fortnite directly to Android users, Google launched an anticompetitive campaign to discourage other developers from following suit. The lawsuit alleges that Google used its dominant position in the app market to disadvantage and intimidate Epic Games.

Million-dollar payments to developers

Epic Games has accused Google of using its financial power to maintain its dominance in the market by making million-dollar payments to developers to prevent them from distributing their apps outside of the Google Play store. This alleged behavior is seen as an anticompetitive tactic.

The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

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Potential Testimonies by Witnesses

Sundar Pichai’s testimony on Google’s practices

As the CEO of Google and Alphabet, Sundar Pichai’s testimony will likely shed light on Google’s practices and policies within the app store. His insights will be crucial in understanding Google’s side of the story.

Ruth Porat’s testimony on financial aspects

Ruth Porat, as the CFO of Google and Alphabet, will provide insights into the financial aspects of Google’s operations. Her testimony may address the commission structure, payments to developers, and the financial impact of any changes to the app store’s practices.

Tim Sweeney’s testimony on Epic’s grievances

As the CEO of Epic Games, Tim Sweeney will likely present his company’s grievances against Google, including the alleged anticompetitive practices and the impact they have had on Epic Games and other developers.

Andy Rubin’s testimony on his departure from Google

Andy Rubin’s testimony may shed light on his departure from Google in 2014 and any relevant information about the early development of Android and Essential.

Nick Sears’ testimony on Android’s early days

As a co-founder of Android, Nick Sears’ testimony can provide valuable insights into the early days of the Android operating system and any relevant information about Android’s relationship with Google.

Armin Zerza’s testimony on financial matters

As the CFO of Activision, Armin Zerza’s testimony will likely focus on the financial aspects of the case and the potential impact on the gaming industry as a whole.

Eric Chu’s testimony on the Open Handset Alliance

Eric Chu’s testimony may provide insights into the dynamics between Google and other members of the Open Handset Alliance during the development and promotion of the Android operating system.

Key Issues to be Addressed

Antitrust allegations against Google

The central issue in this trial is the antitrust allegations made by Epic Games against Google. The court will examine whether Google’s practices within the app store constitute anti-competitive behavior and whether they have harmed competition and consumer choice.

Competitive landscape of app stores

The trial will also explore the competitive landscape of app stores and the role of market dominance in determining the rules and fees imposed on developers. The court will evaluate whether Google’s position as a dominant player in the app market has led to anti-competitive behavior.

Impact on developers and consumers

The trial will assess the impact of Google’s app store practices on developers and consumers. It will examine whether Google’s commission structure, payment arrangements, and restrictions on app distribution have led to harm or limitation of choice for developers and consumers alike.

The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

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Potential Impact of the Trial

Outcomes for Epic and Google

The trial’s outcome will have significant implications for both Epic Games and Google. If the court rules in favor of Epic, it could lead to substantial changes in Google’s app store practices and financial arrangements. On the other hand, if Google successfully defends its practices, it could set a precedent for the industry and reaffirm its dominance in the app market.

Implications for app store regulations

The trial’s outcome could have broader implications for the regulation of app stores and the relationship between dominant platforms and developers. If the court finds Google’s practices to be anti-competitive, it may prompt regulatory action and lead to increased scrutiny of other app store operators.

Possible changes to Google’s business practices

Depending on the trial’s outcome, Google may be required to make changes to its app store practices and commission structure. This could have ripple effects on other aspects of Google’s business operations and potentially disrupt the app market as a whole.

Reactions and Expectations

Industry response to the trial

The tech industry will be closely watching the Epic v. Google trial, as it has the potential to have significant implications for the future of app stores. Developers, industry associations, and other stakeholders are likely to respond and provide their perspectives on the issues raised during the trial.

Predictions about the trial’s outcome

Legal experts and analysts have made various predictions about the trial’s outcome. Some believe that Epic Games has a strong case and that the trial could result in greater regulation and scrutiny of app store practices, while others argue that Google has a solid defense and will prevail in the lawsuit.

The Epic v. Google witness list: Andy Rubin, Sundar Pichai, and more to testify

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Timeline of the Trial

November 6th: Trial begins

The trial is scheduled to commence on November 6th, with both Epic Games and Google presenting their arguments and witnesses.

Key dates and milestones

Specific dates and milestones within the trial are yet to be determined. The court will set the schedule and define the proceedings as the trial progresses.

Expected duration of the trial

The trial’s duration is uncertain, as it will depend on various factors, including the complexity of the arguments presented and the number of witnesses called to testify. It is likely to be a closely followed and potentially lengthy legal battle.

Conclusion

The Epic v. Google trial represents a significant legal battle between two tech giants and has the potential to reshape the app store landscape. With both Epic Games and Google presenting their witness lists and allegations, the trial will provide valuable insights into the practices and policies of the app market. The outcome will have far-reaching implications for both companies, as well as the future regulation and scrutiny of app store practices. As the trial progresses, industry stakeholders and legal experts will closely follow the proceedings and analyze the potential impact on developers, consumers, and the broader tech industry.

Source: https://www.theverge.com/2023/10/7/23907649/epic-v-google-antitrust-lawsuit-andy-rubin-sundar-pichai