Let’s quickly summarize what has happened so far to get you up to speed, like a sort of “Previously on” because this story is quite something. First, ‘Fortnite‘ appeared as just another app in the App Store and Play Store. Then, when Epic started offering better rates for purchasing V-Bucks, its in-game currency, on the company’s own website, both Google and Apple abruptly removed it from their stores. Now, the developer has taken Google to court following the one they had with Tim Cook’s company. The most interesting aspect hasn’t been the outcome itself, but rather observing the internal chaos within the once-search engine (now a current monopoly).
Seeking to establish a presence on Google
And it turns out that Epic has shown, without breaking a sweat, that Google has destroyed evidence in the trial, erased chats, and even forced employees to hide their conversations in case they said anything legally sensitive. In fact, they’ve even noticed that Google’s chat system includes a tool that allows employees not to save conversation history.
And you might say, “So what?” Well, doing this while they’re in court because of ‘Fortnite’ doesn’t look good at all. They could have saved all the chats to prove they have nothing to hide, but surprise, surprise, they didn’t. In fact, Google‘s Information Manager couldn’t even guarantee that these deleted conversations wouldn’t have served as evidence or contradicted the trial testimonies.
The reason Google has given is, at best, feeble: “It was that way by default.” A bit like Homer Simpson saying, “It was my first day.” In fact, from the chats that were indeed saved, some requested not to save them due to “the sensitivity of the legal department these days :).” Margaret Lam, head of platform and ecosystem strategy for Android, repeatedly insisted that employees should not save chats if they wanted to attend meetings with her.
All very healthy and normal, but it gets worse: the company’s CEO was actually messing up by not saving his chats and asking people in his meetings to turn off automatic saving. If Epic already seemed like the winner of the trial, now it would take a miracle for Goliath to win against David. It wouldn’t have been so hard to do things right from the beginning.