Epic Games vs. Google antitrust witness list includes Sundar Pichai

Playing Fortnite on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 with the GameSir X2 controller
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A list totaling 53 witnesses who may or may not be called to the stand for Epic Games and Google's antitrust case.
  • Andy Rubin — known as the "father of Android" — is listed alongside Android co-founders Nick Sears and Rich Miner Google and Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.
  • The case will begin on November 6 in California's Northern District Court.

There's been a lot going on for Google from a legality standpoint, and new information is coming to light about pressing matters with Epic Games and Fortnite. According to The Verge, the court has released the "tentative" list of 53 witnesses that each side (Epic Games and Google) may call to speak or plan on calling to testify.

Google and Alphabet's CEO Sundar Pichai may be called to take the stand and may have to testify regarding Google's Play Store policies. The "Father of Android," Andy Rubin, makes the list but may not actually take the stand.

Other potential witnesses include Android's other co-founders, Nick Sears and Rich Miner, Activision's CFO Armin Zerza, and the head of the Open Handset Alliance, Eric Chu.

The court's unveiling of the proposed witness list is timely as, according to TechCrunch, the antitrust case against Google will begin on November 6 in California's Northern District Court.

This case has been going on for a while now as Epic formally announced it was suing Google after the search giant removed Fortnite from its Play Store. This was done after Epic made it possible for users to purchase the in-game currency (V-Bucks) through the app itself for a discount. This was a way of making in-game store purchases more appealing as developers of games, such as Epic, have to deal with the 30% fee imposed on the Play Store. 

Google stated that in doing so, Epic was in direct "violation" of its guidelines and removed the game altogether, much like Apple did, before eventually bringing it back to the Play Store.

However, after Fortnite's initial removal, Epic opted to distribute its own game through its own means but alleges that Google abuses its power by charging developers exorbitant fees while paying top developers to remain on the Play Store. Epic has also complained of the "disadvantages" placed on apps that aren't available in the Play Store, despite Android's ability to sideload apps. These efforts involved "technical and business measures such as scary, repetitive security pop-ups for downloaded and updated software" and other such lengths.

Match Group, which owns apps like Tinder and Hinge, has also joined in suing Google.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.