Sundar Pichai to testify in antitrust trial over Google Play policies

Pichai Sundararajan, born on June 10, 1972, widely known as Sundar Pichai, is an Indian-born American business executive. Currently serving as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, Pichai has made significant contributions in the technology sector. Pichai’s professional journey commenced as a materials engineer, and after a brief stint at McKinsey & Co., a management consulting firm, he joined Google in 2004. At Google, Pichai played a crucial role in leading product management and driving innovation for a suite of client software products. This included notable projects such as Google Chrome and ChromeOS, with substantial responsibilities for the development of Google Drive. Additionally, he had oversight in the creation of other widely-used applications like Gmail and Google Maps.

Sundar Pichai

Sundar Pichai, is anticipated to be called upon by Epic Games Inc. to testify in an antitrust trial centered around Google Play’s policies. The trial, slated to begin on November 6 in a San Francisco federal court, will investigate whether the policies of Google Play are anti-competitive and obstruct fair competition. Sundar Pichai and Epic’s CEO, Tim Sweeney, have been identified as witnesses in this trial, stemming from Epic’s 2020 lawsuit against Alphabet’s Google. The lawsuit alleges that Google Play’s policies related to distribution, payment, and fees breach antitrust laws. The case is identified as In Re Google Play Store Antitrust Litigation, 21-md-02981, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

This legal dispute is part of a broader antitrust conflict that involves approximately three dozen state attorneys general, consumers, and Match Group Inc., all asserting accusations of Google engaging in monopolistic practices. In addition to the Google Play trial, Sundar Pichai is also slated to provide testimony in an ongoing Washington trial where the US Justice Department accuses Alphabet of upholding a monopoly in web search.

Alphabet has tentatively settled complaints from consumers and state attorneys general, accusing Google Play of abusing control over Android mobile applications. However, the specific terms of the settlement were not disclosed. If finalized, this settlement would narrow the focus of the extensive antitrust dispute, honing in on Epic and Match’s contentions that Google exploited its monopoly power to stifle competition in the Android app distribution market. During the trial, Epic Games’ legal team plans to interrogate Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet, for one hour, addressing various topics, including Android business practices and Google’s agreements with wireless carriers and mobile device manufacturers.

This information is sourced from court filings dated September 5. Conversely, Google’s legal team may also call Sundar Pichai to testify for 30 minutes, aiming to defend its app marketplace policies. Both Epic Games and Google’s legal teams have scheduled Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic, to testify, with each side allocating 90 minutes for his testimony. Tim Sweeney’s testimony is anticipated to cover Epic’s Games Store business and the company’s interactions with Google Play and Android.