The U.S. DOJ antitrust lawsuit is targeting Google’s multibillion-dollar default search pact with Apple.
The Justice Department’s lawsuit, filed Tuesday, targets paid deals Google negotiates to get its search engine to be the default on browsers, phones and other devices. The biggest of these is an agreement that makes Google search the default on iPhones and other Apple devices.
The U.S. government said Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai met in 2018 to discuss the deal. After that, an unidentified senior Apple employee wrote to a Google counterpart that “our vision is that we work as if we are one company.”
The DOJ also cited internal Google documents that call the Apple search deal a “significant revenue channel” for the search giant and one that, if lost, would result in a “Code Red” scenario. That’s because nearly half of Google search traffic in 2019 came from Apple products, according to the lawsuit.
The Justice Department focused in particular on the deal between Apple and Google, saying it “substantially forecloses Google’s search rivals from an important distribution channel for a significant, multi-year term.”
Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to make its search product the default option, according to analyst estimates. That means when a user buys a new iPhone or other Apple device, the built-in search engine in the Safari browser is Google. Apple users have the option to manually switch to Microsoft Corp.’s Bing, Yahoo Search or DuckDuckGo, but “few people do, making Google the de facto exclusive search engine” on Apple devices, according to the DOJ.
The DOJ suit cited estimates that Apple gets $8 billion to $12 billion annually from Google through the agreement.
MacDailyNews Take: Kill the deal, Apple.
Not because there’s anything illegal with it, but because Apple’s doesn’t need the money and because Google, who largely stole iOS’s look and feel (however poorly), is clearly nobody’s friend, certainly not Apple’s.
Perhaps Apple see this deal as some sort of payback for Google’s blatant Android theft. Regardless, kill the deal, Apple.
Apple killing the default search deal will kneecap Google and induce competition into the search and advertising markets. It’s a win-win!
Why does Google pay Apple billions of dollars annually to be Safari’s default search engine? Because Apple has the best customers in the world and Google’s Android doesn’t. Google needs access to discerning people with means because they simply don’t have it with the great unwashed who settle for IP- and privacy-trampling iPhone knockoffs. — MacDailyNews, February 12, 2019
Android is pushed to users who are, in general:
a) confused about why they should be choosing an iPhone over an inferior knockoff and therefore might be less prone to understand/explore their devices’ capabilities or trust their devices with credit card info for shopping; and/or
b) enticed with “Buy One Get One Free,” “Buy One, Get Two or More Free,” or similar ($100 Gift Cards with Purchase) offers.
Neither type of customer is the cream of the crop when it comes to successful engagement or coveted demographics; closer to the bottom of the barrel than the top, in fact. Android can be widespread and still demographically inferior precisely because of the way in which and to whom Android devices are marketed. Unending BOGO promos attract a seemingly unending stream of cheapskate freetards just as inane, pointless TV commercials about robots or blasting holes in concrete walls attract meatheads and dullards, not exactly the best demographics unless you’re peddling muscle building powders or grease monkey overalls.
Google made a crucial mistake: They gave away Android to “partners” who pushed and continue to push the product into the hands of the exact opposite type of user that Google needs for Android to truly thrive. Hence, Android is a backwater of second-rate, or worse, app versions that are only downloaded when free or ad-supported – but the Android user is notoriously cheap, so the ads don’t sell for much because they don’t work very well. You’d have guessed that Google would have understood this, but you’d have guessed wrong.
Google built a platform that depends heavily on advertising support, but sold it to the very type of customer who’s the least likely to patronize ads.
iOS users are the ones who buy apps, so developers focus on iOS users. iOS users buy products, so accessory makers focus on iOS users. iOS users have money and the proven will to spend it, so vehicle makers focus on iOS users. Etcetera. Android can have the Hee Haw demographic. Apple doesn’t want it or need it; it’s far more trouble than it’s worth. – MacDailyNews, November 26, 2012
“All men are created equal.”
Well, not when it comes to users of smartphones and tablets…
The bottom line: Those who settle for Android devices are not equal to iOS users. The fact is that iOS users are worth significantly more than Android settlers to developers, advertisers, third-party accessory makers (speakers, cases, chargers, cables, etc.), vehicle makers, musicians, TV show producers, movie producers, book authors, carriers, retailers, podcasters… The list goes on and on.
The quality of the customer matters. A lot.
Facile “analyses” that look only at market (unit) share, equating one Android settler to one iOS user, make a fatal error by incorrectly equating users of each platform one-to-one.
When it comes to mobile operating systems, all users are simply not equal. – SteveJack, MacDailyNews, November 15, 2014