Last Tuesday, the Justice Department filed a landmark lawsuit against Google — the U.S. government’s biggest antitrust case in two decades — and homed in on the Google’s annual multi-billion dollar payment to Apple to be default search on iPhones, iPads, and Macs as a prime example of what prosecutors say are the company’s illegal tactics to protect its monopoly and kill off competition in web search.
The scrutiny of the pact, which was first inked 15 years ago and has rarely been discussed by either company, has highlighted the special relationship between Silicon Valley’s two most valuable companies — an unlikely union of rivals that regulators say is unfairly preventing smaller companies from flourishing…
Nearly half of Google’s search traffic now comes from Apple devices, according to the Justice Department, and the prospect of losing the Apple deal has been described as a “code red” scenario inside the company. When iPhone users search on Google, they see the search ads that drive Google’s business. They can also find their way to other Google products, like YouTube. A former Google executive, who asked not to be identified because he was not permitted to talk about the deal, said the prospect of losing Apple’s traffic was “terrifying” to the company.
Apple now receives an estimated $8 billion to $12 billion in annual payments — up from $1 billion a year in 2014 — in exchange for building Google’s search engine into its products. It is probably the single biggest payment that Google makes to anyone and accounts for 14 to 21 percent of Apple’s annual profits. That’s not money Apple would be eager to walk away from.
A forced breakup could mean the loss of easy money to Apple. But it would be a more significant threat to Google, which would have no obvious way to replace the lost traffic. It could also push Apple to acquire or build its own search engine. Within Google, people believe that Apple is one of the few companies in the world that could offer a formidable alternative, according to one former executive.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple did it with Maps, they could do it with search (and likely start out better than they started in Maps, which wouldn’t be difficult).
As we wrote over six years ago, referring to Steve Jobs’ vow to go nuclear on Google over the stolen product of Android, about the idea that Apple should buy DuckDuckGo:
“If you really want to wage thermonuclear war, wage thermonuclear war.”
Plus, [DuckDuckGo] has a stupid name that just begs to be changed to “Apple Search.” It’s perfect for Apple! — MacDailyNews, June 19, 2015
If you haven’t already, give DuckDuckGo a try today!
Apple allows users to easily switch to the privacy-respecting DuckDuckGo search engine in Safari:
1. Click Safari in the top menu bar.
2. Select Preferences.
3. Click on Search.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.
1. Open Settings.
2. Navigate and tap on Safari.
3. Tap on Search Engine.
4. Select DuckDuckGo.