This lawsuit reveals that Google paid Apple billions to be on Safari

It has long been an open secret: Google pays Apple billions of dollars to be the default search engine on Safari. This represented 20 billion dollars in 2022 alone and it could well stop.

Source: Unsplash

Google has been embroiled for several months in an antitrust trial in the United States launched by the Department of Justice for illegal monopoly in the online search and advertising market. Enough to reveal its methods, particularly with its partners like Apple: Google paid the iPhone manufacturer handsomely to be the default search engine on Safari.

$20 billion a year: how to be the default search engine on the iPhone

What the legal case reveals is the agreement between Google and Apple: it is even the heart of it. We had already known for several months that this agreement existed and that the amounts were staggering, but we still ignored them. Besides, this is what Apple and Google did not want to see made public. The trial which took place last fall had already taught us some details: a Google witness had accidentally revealed that this amounted to 36% of Google’s revenue from search ads displayed on Safari.

Apple finds itself praising Google // Source: Frandroid

But it was Apple’s senior vice president of services Eddy Cue who gave the exact figures to the courts. In 2020, these payments accounted for 17.5% of iPhone operating revenue. In 2022, Google paid Apple a total of $20 billion. That same year, Apple generated $394 billion: which means that advertising revenue shared with Google represented a little more than 5% of its turnover.

Findings from the U.S. Department of Justice and Google are expected Thursday and Friday. As for the court’s decision, we will have to wait a few more months. It could end this contract between Google and Apple.

They make the king »: Microsoft has never succeeded in seducing Apple

All this is reminiscent of Microsoft’s positions on this trial. The company owns Bing, the second most used search engine in the world, but which has never been able to compete with Google. And for its leader Satya Nadella, “ whoever they choose, they make king “, he said about Apple. Having Bing on the iPhone and more generally on Safari (iPad, Mac, etc.) means seeing its market share explode.

Microsoft Bing // Source: Microsoft

Bing was even prepared to make heavy concessions, including sharing 90% of its advertising revenue with Apple, compared to 36% for Google. Furthermore, Satya Nadella had proposed to Apple to hide the Bing brand in its search engine on Safari. But nothing works: Apple has always favored Google, or at least almost everywhere in the world.

Why the EU is no longer really concerned about this potential illegal monopoly

In most countries, Google is the default search engine, but it can be changed in Safari settings. Enough to replace it with Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo or even Ecosia. However, within the European Union, users are more encouraged not to necessarily use Google.

Since the beginning of March, users in the European Union have been able to select a default search engine on iOS when setting up their smartphone. This is thanks to the entry into force of the Digital Markets Act, new European legislation which aims to put an end to the anti-competitive practices of Gamam. In France, these are the ones available:


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