DuckDuckGo founder says Google’s partnerships with Apple, others stifle competition

DuckDuckGo founder Gabriel Weinberg testified in the DOJ’s antitrust trial against Google Thursday that it was difficult for his search engine company to compete with Google because of its deals with Apple and other tech companies to make its product the default search option.


Associated Press:

“We hit an obstacle with Google’s contracts,” Weinberg said in U.S. District Court in Washington.

The U.S. Department of Justice argues that Alphabet’s Google has smothered competition by paying companies such as Apple and Verizon to lock in its search engine as the default choice — the first one users see — on many laptops and smartphones.

Weinberg testified that getting users to switch from Google was complicated, requiring as many as 30 to 50 steps to change defaults on all their devices, whereas the process could be shortened to just one click on each device.

“The search defaults are the primary barrier,” he said. “It’s too many steps.”

The MIT graduate started DuckDuckGo in his basement in Pennsylvania in 2008… DuckDuckGo still handles only 2.5% of U.S. search queries, Weinberg testified Thursday.

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

Please help support MacDailyNews. Click or tap here to support our independent tech blog. Thank you!

Support MacDailyNews at no extra cost to you by using this link to shop at Amazon.


  1. I would use duckduckgo if the layout on their webpage wasn’t so awful. Google is nice on the eyes and easy to use. Google is filtering search results like on youtube and hide things. I’d switch in a second and have tried but just can’t get past the duckduckgo layout and colors, etc. Horrible!

  2. I use DDG as my default search engine for ethical reasons, I use Dark Mode in Safari browser and I cannot see any “awful” visuals with DDG.

    My only complaint with DDG is the “Time” filtering dropdown menu. 1. I cannot select a custom interval of my choice and 2. The search criterion of “Past Day” simply does not work – ever.

  3. I don’t know. I use DDG for anything controversial because google clearly skews results on a political agenda. But for most things Google gives better search results such as technical questions.

    But DDG is growing, so they can’t complain they are being hurt. They just aren’t as good overall.

  4. Unfortunately, Goog is unquestionably the best search engine and I self-compromise by using the entity that controls speech for society’s “benefit.”

    How Apple resurrected Maps, would seem to imply the tech expertice/dedication is there to displace Goog search? Apple = not close to perfect, but clearly would be a cleaner choice.

  5. I’ve used DDG for years. No regrets. A large % of Google’s power and $ exists simply because people choose them over other viable options for search, mail, documents, advertising. Or, they are just too lazy to change default settings.

    True “Power to the People” begins when customers use their power to choose alternatives. We still have the freedom to choose not to use Google products. Kill Google by starving the beast. Turn off defaults and choose other software options whenever possible.

    Google is evil. Google does evil.

Reader Feedback

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