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In a federal financial conspiracy trial involving Ozy Media, Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified on Friday, refuting founder Carlos Watson’s alleged claims that Google had once sought to acquire Ozy. While Google did consider hiring Watson for a senior news executive position in 2021 and investing $25 million in Ozy as part of the deal, Pichai clarified that they did not offer to purchase the company for $600 million.

Pichai affirmed that Watson played a crucial role at Ozy Media, and Google had contemplated making an investment to facilitate his transition. However, the proposed hire and investment never materialized. The prosecution contended that Watson had later informed another potential investor about a nine-figure acquisition offer made by Pichai himself. Ozy Media, based in Mountain View, California, was known for producing television programs, podcasts, and organizing a music-and-ideas festival.

While the trial focuses on Ozy Media’s financial collapse in 2021 and the alleged misrepresentation of its audience and deals, Pichai’s testimony provided clarity regarding Google’s involvement. The denial of the acquisition offer highlights the importance of verifying claims made by company executives and the complexities of high-level business negotiations.