Apple seeks to keep competitive secrets from Google in-house lawyers

In a filing Friday in federal court in Washington, Apple said confidential competitive secrets it provided to the U.S. Justice Department for the government’s antitrust probe of Google should not be shared with the search giant’s in-house lawyers because they’re “competitively sensitive.”

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

David McLaughlin for Bloomberg News:

Apple said it gave the Justice Department “competitively sensitive material” about its negotiations with Alphabet Inc.’s Google and that allowing lawyers inside Google to see the information would result in “material harm” to Apple.

Apple said in the filing it doesn’t oppose Google’s outside lawyers seeing the material but disclosure to Google’s in-house lawyers “would directly implicate future business dealings between Apple and Google, provide Google with a substantial advantage over Apple in negotiations, and potentially disadvantage competitor search engines that negotiate with Apple.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple should kill the default search deal with Google, not because there’s anything illegal with the deal – there isn’t – but it would help induce meaningful competition back into the online search market. In fact, Apple should kill the Google deal and introduce their own search engine. No defaults:, let Apple product users choose their default search engine during set up and make it even easier to change it at will.

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


      1. As far as I know, there’s been no claim an Apple mole was inside Prada to scoop the goods on their phone. Even if there was, Apple must have been feverishly copying to release the iPhone weeks after the Prada.

        The relevance of my statement was the reverse isn’t true of Google. Eric Schmidt sat on Apple’s Board as a professional colleague and a friend and seemingly defrauded both stations. Argue with Job’s claims calling what transpired as “Grand Theft” and vengefully wanting to destroy Google’s product.

        From the outside, it’s evident that Google’s new phone was a revolutionary change from the previous model and it appeared uncannily like Apple’s 1st/only release.

        And, pulease….how’s the Prada doing? I believe I can get one on ebay for 80 bucks? And, the Symbian App Store…some good apps there? There’s something said of market endurance…besides designs that are so desired, they get copied.

      2. You aren’t too bright are you? The iPhone was the result of many years of work dating back to the early 2000s. Apple was improving on its own concepts that dated back to the 1980s. This is all public information.

  1. Perhaps the reason Google pays for being default is that not only is it easier to ‘keep’ users, but that there is no option for the user to ‘choose’ a default search on initial setup.

    Given a choice at setup, not only will Google save money and avoid the current legal mess, but most users will likely choose Google at initial setup having already experienced its benefits over other search engines.

    1. Do you mean the default settings on Apple devices (iPhones, iMac, etc?) because you don’t choose a default search – or any search for that matter – on initial setup. In fact, I’m not entirely sure what the relevance is of choosing it during initial setup, especially sense you can change Google from the default no matter what device you happen to be using (as I do. On every Apple device I own).

      1. You are right, there is no choosing defaults at initial setup currently. I was commenting on MDN’s comment about eliminating the default, having the option to choose at initial setup and possibly increasing competition for search. The relevance is that the user is forced to think a bit about making a choice rather than having the choice made for them and just being lazy about changing it. As noted above, IMO most will still choose Google given the choice.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.