Google paid Apple $20 billion in 2022 to be Safari’s default search engine

Google paid Apple $20 billion in 2022 to be Safari’s default search engine

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Thanks to court documents related to the DOJ’s antitrust suit against Google that have just been unsealed, Google paid Apple $20 billion in 2022 to be the default browser for Safari. The deal between Apple and Alphabet plays an important role in the Justice Department’s suit which alleges that Google monopolized online search and related advertising. Closing arguments in the case are scheduled for today, May 2nd, and tomorrow, May 3rd. A final decision will be announced later this year.

Because of the amount of money involved in the deal, both Apple and Google have tried not to disclose the exact amount that Apple is paid by Google. Last year, Apple executives testified under oath that Google paid it “billions” to be the default search engine for Safari without revealing the exact amount. But a Google witness eventually let it slip that the company pays 36% of the money it earns from Search ads to Apple.

Google has default deals with other companies to provide search results on other platforms. But as Bloomberg points out, the deal with Apple is its most important since it makes Google the search engine for the most used smartphone in the U.S.

The court documents, filed late Tuesday, included the first confirmation of the $20 billion that Google pays Apple to be Safari’s default search engine. The confirmation came from Apple’s senior vice-president of services, Eddy Cue. The documents also revealed how important the payments from Google are to Apple’s profits. In 2020, the payment made by Google to Apple made up 17.5% of Apple’s operating income.

The report notes that Apple first agreed to allow Google Search to be the default search engine on the Safari browser back in 2002 for free. That led to an agreement between the two companies to share search advertising revenue. By the time May 2021 rolled around, Google started paying Apple more than $1 billion a month to be the default search engine for Safari.

To change the default search engine on your iPhone, go to Settings > Safari. Under the Search headings, go to Search Engine and tap on Google. That will show you a box with five search engines that you can choose from ti become the default search engine on Safari. The search engines that you have to choose from include:

  • Yahoo
  • Bing
  • DuckDuckGo
  • Ecosia.

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