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Google Faces Antitrust Scrutiny Over Alleged Covert Agreements with Apple and Samsung

Investigations Uncover Questionable Practices in Sustaining Search Dominance

Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, has come under the radar of US antitrust authorities for its recent agreements with tech giants Apple and Samsung. The deals, involving payments for prominent placement of Google services on devices, are currently under investigation for potential anticompetitive behavior.

High-Stakes Trial Reveals Secretive Payments for Search Dominance

In the midst of a high-stakes trial lasting several months, US authorities are accusing Google of making undisclosed payments to maintain its dominant position as a search engine on both web and mobile browsers.

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Google’s Safari Search Deal with Apple Under Scrutiny

At the heart of the investigation lies Google’s longstanding agreement to power the Safari search engine on Apple devices since 2002. This arrangement, given Safari’s default status on iPhones, the best-selling smartphones in the United States, is a focal point in the trial.

Confidential Data Reveals Revenue Sharing Model with Apple

Details emerging from the trial suggest that Google allegedly pays Apple a staggering 36 percent of the revenue generated from search ads via Safari. Despite being confidential, this information was disclosed by Kevin Murphy, a professor at the University of Chicago, during the trial proceedings.

Multi-Billion Dollar Deals Unveiled in Samsung Collaboration

In a surprising revelation during the trial, it was disclosed that Google paid a substantial $8 billion over four years to Samsung. The payments were allegedly made to secure Google’s search engine, voice assistant, and app store as default features on Samsung’s mobile devices.

Read Also: Google Addresses Pixel 6 and 7 Storage Issue with Android 14 Patch

Samsung Devices Critical to Google Play Store Revenue

The collaboration with Samsung appears to be of strategic importance to Google, with Samsung devices accounting for half or more of the revenues generated on the Google Play Store, as reported by Bloomberg.

Unsuccessful 2019 Agreement and Subsequent Multi-Year Deals

Additional details emerged about a failed 2019 agreement in which Google proposed the distribution of Samsung’s Galaxy Store within the Google Play Store. This proposal aimed to replace the preinstallation of Galaxy Store on Samsung devices and restrict Samsung from offering its own payment system. However, three successful agreements were inked in 2020, spanning four years and totaling $8 billion.

As Google navigates the legal challenges posed by these allegations, the trial continues to unravel the intricate web of agreements that may shape the future landscape of tech industry practices.

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