Google, by default, is the search engine on all Android smartphones as well as iPhones. Have you ever wondered why? The US Department of Justice is hearing a plea on the same. Google reportedly pays billions of dollars to OEMs like Apple and Samsung to remain the default search engine on all their products.
Google Pays Millions to Remain Default Search Engine
A Bloomberg report provides further details of the ongoing judicial case. US Department of Justice (DOJ) attorney Kenneth Dintzer has raised the arguments to Judge Amit Mehta. The attorney claims that Google has been “illegally” buying default exclusivity for its search engine on most smartphones in the US.
The antitrust lawsuit is based on Google contracts. It was allegedly found that Google’s exclusivity in search engines denies rivals to access user data, which is crucial to run the platform. For the same, the antitrust lawsuit also accuses Google of continuing its search monopoly, despite the market having many other search engines.
The lawsuit also states that Google has contracts with smartphone makers like Apple, Motorola, and Samsung – who are among the biggest players in the US. It was also reported that Google has contracts with telcos Verizon, T-Mobile, and AT&T. Since these contracts cover most of the market share, rival search engines are finding it hard to challenge Google.
The details of the contract are unclear at the moment. But the report explains that the contracts have been in place since the 2000s. The antitrust lawsuit is expected to formally begin in 2023.
Google And India
Presently, Google is also the default search engine on almost all smartphones bought in India. Search engines like Mozilla, Bing, or Duck Duck Go are also available. But Google has the larger market share in most markets, including India and the US. The upcoming antitrust lawsuit could change this next year.
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Story first published: Sunday, September 11, 2022, 8:25 [IST]