Sundar Pichai will take the stand in Epic v. Google

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is set to testify on Tuesday in Epic’s lawsuit against Google. Epic plans to call Pichai as a witness as it makes its case alleging that Google Play is an unlawful monopoly.

In court documents, Google has requested to use a podium in the courtroom on Tuesday, which suggests that Pichai may indeed appear to testify; last month, when he testified in US v. Google, Pichai stood behind a podium instead of sitting because of apparent back issues. (Judge James Donato granted the request for the podium Thursday evening.)

Pichai’s appearance isn’t a total surprise, as the CEO appeared as one of 53 witnesses Epic said it may or may not call before the trial kicked off. But what he says might be a big deal, given his decision-making role as chief executive at the company — and also because employees as high up the chain as Pichai himself were found setting conversations to auto-delete. Epic has repeatedly accused Google of systematically destroying evidence to keep it out of court, and Judge James Donato is letting Epic attempt to prove that to the jury at trial.

An exhibit from the case showing Pichai asking somebody to turn off chat history.

Google didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment.

Update November 9th, 7:51PM ET: Judge Donato granted the request for the podium.

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