Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Google Paid Apple $20 Billion in 2022 to Be Default Safari Search Engine


Google paid Apple $20 billion in 2022 to be the default search engine for Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac, reports Bloomberg. The information was revealed in court documents Google provided in its antitrust dispute with the United States Department of Justice.

The DoJ has accused Google of having a monopoly on search, and in the lawsuit against Google, the search engine deal with Apple has been a major focus. In November, lawsuit documents indicated that Google was paying 36 percent of the total revenue that it earns from searches conducted on Safari, and now it turns out that equates to $20 billion.

Google has been the default search engine on Apple devices since 2002, though the deal has been renegotiated several times. Apple and Google have worked to keep the terms of the search engine agreement under wraps during the trial and before, but it has been well known that Google is paying Apple billions per year.

Last October, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified that the agreement between Apple and Google has made it impossible for search engines like Bing to compete. Microsoft at one point wanted Apple to buy Bing, but Apple was not interested. Microsoft blamed Google, but Apple’s Eddy Cue said that Aplple was concerned that Bing could not compete in “quality and capabilities.” Cue claimed that Apple uses Google as the ‌iPhone‌’s default search engine because Apple has “always thought it was the best.”

Google is the default search engine on Apple devices in most countries, but users can opt to swap to Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, and Ecosia as alternatives. Changing browser engines requires opening up the Safari settings.

In Europe, the Digital Markets Act has required Apple to make changes to how browsers work. Users are able to choose a default browser when setting up their ‌iPhone‌, and there are more options than the handful of providers that Apple allows in the United States.

If Google loses the antitrust lawsuit against it, the deal between Apple and Google could be dissolved. Closing arguments are expected on Thursday and Friday, with the judge’s ruling set to come later in 2024.Tags: Google, Safari
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