Google reportedly pays about $19 billion yearly to be Apple’s default search engine.
It has come to light that Apple was eyeing a deal that would see it buy the Bing search engine from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) in 2018. That is according to a recent CNBC report which cited an unsealed transcript testimony from Apple’s head of machine learning John Giannandrea. Per the report, Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) was either going to buy Bing or enter into a joint business venture with Microsoft that would see Apple invest billions of dollars.
Giannandrea, who is also a former Google exec, says that Apple wanted to stop using Google as its default search engine at the time. Recall that Google typically returns all queries from Siri and also currently powers many other features on the iPhone and Mac products.
However, though Google reportedly pays about $19 billion yearly to be Apple’s default search engine, the firm still did consider shaking things up.
Eventually, the deal with Microsoft could not go through and according to Giannandrea, that may have been because CEO Tim Cook told Microsoft that they weren’t intent on pursuing it any further.
Meanwhile, it might be worth noting that these reports are out in the open due to an ongoing antitrust case against Google. The government, through the Department of Justice (DoJ), is looking to establish that Google has employed some measures to monopolize the market. According to the DoJ, Google may have used licensing deals and other contracts to stifle its rivals. But Google insists that it has in no way violated any antitrust law.
Apple has also put in some words regarding the seeming affair between both companies. According to Apple executives, the relationship with Google largely has to do with its status as the best search engine. So, Google’s payments only come as an additional benefit, they say.
Whatever might be the case, much of the ongoing antitrust trial will continue to focus on Google’s partnership with Apple, while the case is expected to continue for weeks.