Beijing time on March 30 morning news, according to reports, a California court ruled that in the course of an Android operating system antitrust lawsuit, Google, a subsidiary of technology giant Alphabet, deliberately destroyed employees’ internal chat evidence, and Google will He was fined and faced further punishment during the subsequent trial process.
In the ruling, U.S. District Judge James Donato in Los Angeles, California, said Google failed in its duty to preserve evidence related to the case.
The complex antitrust lawsuit reportedly involves multiple jurisdictions, including a consumer class action involving 21 million Americans, covering 38 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, involving companies including gaming Manufacturer Epic and dating service provider Match Group.
The key point of this antitrust lawsuit is that consumers and manufacturer plaintiffs allege that Google’s Play App Store has monopolized practices in distributing Android applications. ). Google, however, denies the monopoly allegations.
As a fine for Google’s destruction of evidence, the court has asked all plaintiffs’ lawyers to provide relevant attorney fee figures by April 21.
The plaintiffs in the lawsuit will have an opportunity for Judge Donato to inform all jurors that Google willfully destroyed evidence against the company.
Donato said he will have another look at Google’s performance at a later stage in the lawsuit. He mentioned that Google did everything possible to downplay the issue of destroying evidence and disdained this violation.
In court documents filed last year, Google’s legal team stated that the company has taken various strong measures to preserve chat records related to the case.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys have yet to comment on Judge Donato’s ruling.
In the court documents submitted, the plaintiffs’ legal team stated that they had previously searched for evidence of Google employees’ internal chats related to the core issues of the case, and found that Google would ask employees to delete chat records every 24 hours, even in this case. After the litigation process started, Google continued to delete adverse evidence.
Judge Donato said Google failed to fulfill its obligation to preserve evidence by letting employees make their own decisions about which internal chat evidence is relevant to the lawsuit.
It is reported that the trial in this case will begin in November this year.
As we all know, Google is also facing an antitrust lawsuit from the US Department of Justice, which is being heard by a federal district court in Washington. In the suit, Google is also accused of destroying chat evidence, which the company is vigorously defending.