Advertisers complain of Apple-Google ‘symbiotic relationship’

Apple’s and Google’s “symbiotic relationship” should get scrutiny from the U.K.’s antitrust regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority, a group of online advertisers, Marketers for an Open Web, said.

Google breakup. Image: Google logo

Marketers for an Open Web are concerned that Apple and Google “are not competing head to head,” citing U.S. regulatory filings on agreements between the tech giants that they say are a form of active collaboration.

Aoife White for Bloomberg News:

The U.K. regulator is one of several global antitrust enforcers examining technology companies amid concerns they may have too much power. The CMA started an investigation earlier this month into Apple’s app payment rules following scrutiny of Google’s planned advertising changes. The Google probe was sparked by a complaint last year from the Open Web group.

The U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit last year alleges that Google and Apple work as “one company” on search. It alleges that Google’s exclusive paid deals to distribute its search engine on browsers and phones, including Apple’s iPhones, violate monopoly rules. It’s the most significant U.S. monopoly case in more than 20 years. Texas is also leading an antitrust lawsuit into digital advertising.

MacDailyNews Take: Also, earlier this month, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) noted concerns about “choice and competition in internet search and web browsers,” focused on internet browser defaults, including Apple’s default search deal with Google.

Apple did it with Maps, they could do it with search (and likely, simply by tagging it “beta,” start out far better than they started in Maps, which wouldn’t be difficult).

Although, with Apple’s recent selective and demonstrably hypocritical banning of apps in their App Store, we’re quite sure we don’t want Apple dominating in search engines; not under current management, unregulated, at least. We would not trust Apple’s search results any more than we trust Google’s.

In fact, due to the importance that the internet has today, and has had for many years now, search engines should be declared a public utility and regulated, preferably by an independent bipartisan body, to ensure that censorship, shadow banning, and the like are not occurring. No such protections exist today.

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.

1 Comment

  1. The reason public utilities are regulated monopolies are due to users generally not having any access nor means to choose between multiple providers. The argument for regulation in that sense is hard to pin on online search engines since all it takes is a different URL.

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