US government: apple and Google operate as one company in search business

 US government: apple and Google operate as one company in search business

Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met in 2018 to discuss the deal, the government said. After that, a senior Apple employee, who asked not to be named, wrote to a colleague at Google and said, we expect us to work as if we were a company.

The U.S. Department of justice also cited Google internal documents as saying the deal with Apple was an important source of revenue for the search giant. According to the content of the lawsuit, nearly half of Googles search traffic in 2019 comes from Apple products.

Many of the details have not been disclosed before and may support the U.S. governments allegation that Google is using these agreements to shield search competitors and reduce user choice. Google said there were serious flaws in the U.S. government lawsuit and said it would harm consumers and artificially support low-quality search products.

The U.S. Department of justice paid special attention to the agreement between apple and Google in the lawsuit, saying that the agreement deprived Googles search competitors of an important distribution channel for a considerable period of time.

Analysts estimate that Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search products the default search engine for Apples mobile devices. This means that when users buy a new iPhone or other Apple device, the default search engine set up inside Safari browser is Google search. According to the U.S. Department of justice, Apple users can also choose to manually switch to Microsofts Bing, Yahoo search or duckduckgo, but very few will do so, making Google the de facto exclusive search engine on Apple devices..

According to the U.S. Department of justice in the lawsuit, it is estimated that through the agreement, Apple will receive $8 billion to $12 billion a year from Google. Apples revenue from the search deal is part of the companys growing services business, a key indicator Apple has repeatedly highlighted to investors and analysts in recent years.

By paying Apple part of the monopoly rent it gets from advertisers, Google combines Apples financial incentives with its own practices and sets the advertising business at a very high price, the Justice Department said

As part of the deal, Google is also the default search engine for Siri and IOS searches, replacing Apples 2017 agreement with Microsoft. Apple does not provide users with a way to switch search engines during initial device setup, nor does it recommend switching search engines when users use Safari browser on Apple devices for the first time.

Apple said users can access third-party search apps, third-party voice assistant apps, or websites of other search engines, in addition to modifying the default search engine after settings.

In 2019, Kyle andeer, Apples chief compliance officer, told a congressional hearing that the company had conducted a public comparison to understand what was best for consumers, and consumers have always chosen Google. (Chen Chen)

Source: Qiao JunJing, editor in charge of Netease science and Technology Report_ NBJ11279