Lawsuit claims Google pays Apple billions to stay out of the search engine business

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Although Google and Apple have never disclosed an exact amount, it is widely known that the search giant pays the iPhone maker billions each year to remain the default search engine on the iPhone, Mac and the rest of its devices. . Exactly how much remains a mystery – for now, anyway.

A new class action lawsuit filed in California claims the arrangement harms other search engine companies as well as businesses that advertise with Google. It goes a step further, suggesting that Apple and Google should be broken up into smaller companies in order to violate US antitrust laws.

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What’s particularly interesting about this lawsuit is that if it makes it through the search process, we may finally know the exact amount Google pays Apple each year for being the default search engine on its devices. .

According to estimates in an investor note recently seen by financial services firm AB Bernstein tree30Google’s payment to Apple this year could be between $18bn and $20bn, based on disclosures in Apple’s public filings and an analysis of Google’s traffic acquisition cost (TAC) payments.

class action antitrust case

The lawsuit was filed by Elliotto Law Firm on behalf of the California Crane School, which offers courses across the US for mobile crane operator certification.

In a press release announcing the lawsuit, Aliotto Law Firm stated the claims made by the company against the two tech giants, saying:

“Complaint claims that the means used to give effect to a non-compete agreement include; (1) Google will share its search advantage with Apple; (2) Apple will provide Google preferential treatment for all Apple devices.” (3) Regular secret meetings between executives of the two companies; (4) annual multi-billion-dollar payments by Google to Apple for not competing in the search business; (5) smaller competitors and foreclosing from the search market Suppression of competition of competitors; (6) Obtaining real and potential competitors.”

In addition to paying for it to remain the default search engine on its devices, part of the agreement between the two companies requires that Apple not compete against Google in the search business. While there have been rumors about the Apple search engine for some time now, if Apple were to actually develop its own search product, the company would be violating its existing agreement with Google.

It would be interesting to know how much Google pays Apple each year to have Apple as its default search engine, but it is likely that this class action lawsuit will not even make it to the trial or search stage as these types of suits often go before then. are settled and the defendant can also file a motion to dismiss them.

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