A federal judge has ruled that Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) should be sanctioned for failing to preserve chat messages between employees tied to the antitrust case filed by Epic Games.
Epic Games sued Google in 2020 just after it sued Apple over the same issue: the removal of its game Fortnite from the companies’ app stores over payment cuts.
Now Epic has alleged that Google failed to retain chats between employees that should have been preserved under a litigation hold, charging Google with leaving it to the employees to determine when to turn on and off their chat histories when discussing legally relevant matters.
Google “adopted a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy for keeping messages, at the expense of its preservation duties,” Judge James Donato said in a Tuesday filing, CNBC noted.
The allegations are similar to ones brought in a separate case, the Justice Dept. antitrust litigation against Google.
The judge said this case wouldn’t be decided on the basis of lost chats, but will pursue more proceedings to determine the exact santions Google should face.
Epic is closely held, majority owned by CEO Tim Sweeney with a 40% minority stake owned by Tencent (OTCPK:TCEHY).