Apple execs Eddy Cue and John Giannandrea set to testify in DOJ’s Google search trial

Two of Apple’s highest-ranking executives, services head Eddy Cue and artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea, will testify in the U.S. Department of Justice’s trial against Alphabet subsidiary Google.

DOJ antitrust lawsuit targets Google's multibillion-dollar default search pact with Apple
DOJ antitrust lawsuit targets Google’s multibillion-dollar default search pact with Apple

Mark Gurman and Leah Nylen for Bloomberg News:

Giannandrea has the distinction of being a former Google executive, and sat opposite Cue when the companies negotiated their search agreement — an accord that’s now under scrutiny in the trial. Cue, meanwhile, is a Steve Jobs disciple and consummate dealmaker. The two executives’ testimony, expected in the coming days, will help show whether Google’s search dominance has ultimately hindered competition and limited options for consumers.

[I]n 2010… Apple and Google began renegotiating terms, and that’s where Cue comes in. The companies hammered out an agreement that retained Google as the default search engine in the Safari web browser on iPhones, iPads, Macs and other Apple devices — some of the most valuable pieces of digital real estate.

The accord doesn’t cover all countries: Safari uses a different default search engine in China, for instance. And users can change their preferred search option if they want.

But it’s been a lucrative arrangement for both companies. By 2020, the Justice Department said that Google was paying Apple $4 billion to $7 billion annually for the slot. Google, meanwhile, makes more than $160 billion a year on search, with over half of that coming from mobile devices.
That deal was reached when Giannandrea was still at Google, serving as senior vice president of engineering for search.

MacDailyNews Take: While we wish Apple wouldn’t take Google’s money because the monopolized online Search Engine + Digital Ad Network that exists today (and has for years) is bad for everyone not named Alphabet Inc., Apple certainly has the right to monetize Safari’s default search engine – until they don’t. With both companies so large, it may be — in fact, is very likely — that the deal stifles competition in the search engine field. Antitrust remedies are called for in such cases.

Again, Google is a massive problem that simply must be addressed. There is one “Big Tech” company that is really stifling competition and for which antitrust remedies are in order: Alphabet (Google).MacDailyNews, October 20, 2020

When one search engine has 86% share of the worldwide market (and Google basically isn’t even used in China), there is far, far, far too much power concentrated in one company. The whole concept of the World Wide Web is destroyed when a sole gatekeeper basically controls what gets seen, read, and heard. It’s not open, it’s completely closed and controlled.

Publishers who want to be read, for example, spend an inordinate amount of time making sure they follow Google’s dictates, nebulously sussed from Google’s secret algorithm, formatting their sites, even writing their articles a certain way, including certain words they might not choose if allowed to write freely, simply to please Google’s algorithm…

Hopefully, lawmakers can come together to figure out a way to do something to remedy the horribly uncompetitive situation in internet search. Google is, and has been for years, a perfect example of why antitrust laws exist. — MacDailyNews, July 29, 2020

With this unprecedented power, platforms have the ability to redirect into their pockets the advertising dollars that once went to newspapers and magazines. No one company should have the power to pick and choose which content reaches consumers and which doesn’t.MacDailyNews, November 9, 2017

Imagine if your livelihood depended on one company that had not only monopolized web search (and, thereby, basically controlled how new customers find you), but also controlled the bulk of online advertising dollars which funded your business and which they could pull, simply threaten to pull, or reduce rates at any time? Now also imagine if you believe this monopolist basically stole the product of another company that is the very subject of your business? How much would you criticize the monopolist thief’s business practices?

You might guess that it would be a tough road to walk. (We’re only imagining, of course!)

That would be a good example of why monopolies are bad for everyone.

The U.S. government has utterly failed to police Google. Because the people with the power to do so currently are corrupt. Follow the money. Hopefully, the European Union will help to correct the situation.

In the meantime, stop using Google search and Google products wherever possible. Monopolies are bad for everyone.MacDailyNews, July 14, 2016

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  1. MDN, I’m no fan of Google either, but Google, by and large, got to where it is today because it was simply the best search engine. Yes, it’s the default engine in Safari and, yes, Chrome – now the most popular browser in the world – of course uses it by default, but I remember a time when IE was the world’s leading browser (with, presumably Bing as the default search engine), but people still searched with google.

    If Google is found guilty of building its monopoly illegally (and paying Apple to be the default browser isn’t – any competitor could have paid Apple to be the default), what would a remedy look like? People happily use Google search to find the information they want. Is the government going to force them to use another? Or will it force the user pick a default search engine upon every install of an OS update? Or make it even more ornery – like the EU has done with those stupid cookie acknowledgements: make customers pick an engine before every query? These solutions don’t seem to benefit customers – it only helps the profits competing search engine providers, as far as I can see.

    1. Unlikely. Mouse devices are extrapolations of trackballs. As gaming interfaces trickle to more mundane business devices it would have been highly likely that the mouse would have been eventually entered common use, just a bit later and possibly introduced by some gaming console company.

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