Apple and Google are rivals in numerous markets, from operating systems to apps, manufacturing of mobile phones, virtual assistants, smart speakers, laptops, and many more. But business is business, and on the other hand, Google has no problem paying its rival billions of dollars a year. This could change very soon if, as it seems, the European Union decides to apply the antitrust law.
The reason for this payment has two names: the Google search engine and the Safari browser. Google pays Apple around $ 7.2 billion a year to be the default search engine for Safari.
The problem is that Chrome accumulates 65.47% of the traffic of Internet web pages, and Safari 16.97%. Together they account for more than 80% of the market, and Google is also paying billions of dollars to one of its rivals, Safari, to strengthen its position.
This situation may violate antitrust laws, and since the European Union is changing its position regarding the United States, and wants to become more technologically independent, it could force Google to stop paying Apple so that its search engine is the one that Safari installs. by default, as reported by Reuters.
According to TechRadar, in the UK alone Google pays Apple nearly $ 1.5 billion annually. The payment depends on the number of installations, and therefore it is also associated with each country, according to iPhone and iPad sales.
Google is not the only company that pays Apple to appear in the list of search engines that Safari offers. So do Microsoft’s Bing search engine, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo. But since they are not the default search engines (the user must select them manually) the payment is much less. Together they do not reach 1,800 million dollars annually.
According to the UK antitrust office: “The agreement between Google and Apple represents a significant barrier to entry for its rivals, affecting competition in the mobile search engine market.”
It proposes to limit the money that Apple receives for this concept, and allow users to choose the default search engine during the installation of Safari or the configuration of the new mobile.