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Federal Judge Calls for Investigation Into Google’s Deletion of Internal Chats

If you dream of running a big tech behemoth, that’s fine – just don’t forget that you’ll be a regular in the courthouse. That being said, now’s the time to talk about Google’s latest encounter with the judiciary.

Federal Judge James Donato has a plan to look deep into Google and the company may face investigation over its deleted chat history (via Android Headlines). This comes after Google’s recent court adventures over allegations of monopoly in the search market and the ongoing dispute with Epic (here, the companies have been fighting over the Play Store competition issue).

In both trials, testimony revealed that Google employees – you can count CEO Sundar Pichai in, too – had enabled an “auto-delete” option for internal chats on purpose. It was hinted that the purpose was to keep information out of a courtroom as evidence.

Judge Donato calls Google’s act of destroying evidence “a frontal assault on the fair administration of justice” and that it “undercuts due process” and says he plans to pursue the matter outside the bounds of the particular trial against Epic.

“I’m going to get to the bottom of who is responsible,” Donato said when referencing Google’s actions.

Currently, Judge Donato is trying to get both Google and Epic at the table to discuss “potential settlements” – something which neither company has tried to do so far. Judge Donato’s orders mean that Google and Epic will have to talk to each other and try to figure out something approaching an agreement.

A ruling on the case is expected to be made by December 11, which is exactly a week from now.

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