Friday, July 5, 2024

DOJ Investigating Apple-Google Default Search Engine Deal

Hartley Charlton:

Apple’s deal with Google that makes it the default engine on Safari faces uncertainty as the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit looms, The Information reports.

Chance Miller:

Google pays Apple upwards of $20 billion per year to retain that default status, something the Justice Department says hinders competition in the search engine industry. Notably, Apple is not named as a party in the lawsuit, but the case has led to testimonies from Apple executives such as Eddy Cue.

It seems to me that that the built-in choices of search engines and the inability for users to add custom ones are much bigger deals than which one is the default.


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I guess being in business in the US is now (almost against the law) if two companies make a deal between themselves. People can change their browser or search engine in browsers if they care to look or do. I use

Captain Hammer

Mac revenue was $7.5B last quarter. Let's simplify and say the Mac is worth $30B a year to Apple.

$20B for Google search is from 2022. Given inflation + the rising value to Google, this single deal is possibly now as profitable to Apple as the Mac product line is in a year.

As I understand it, this deal has been in place a while. It's not unreasonable to think Apple's made $100B from it (or is trending there).

Safari deliberately gimps its search engine defaults to a pop-up with "a chosen few". No Brave. No Startpage. No Kagi. I wonder if the "chosen few" also pay Apple significant money to be included there.

Apple is like any Fortune 500: Shareholders > all. So I ask, why stop at search? Why not demonstrate some of that Tim Cook-era *innovation* and auction off *every* user-default? They could double the share price with this one move. In fact, the C-suite should be removed for *not* doing this. Significant shareholder value is being suppressed!

So anyway, they have all this money to keep a single default the same year-over-year, and claim to care and have values, but Swift is still awful and unfun and SwiftUI is worse.

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