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Google paid $26 billion to stay as the default search engine

News has emerged that Google paid a staggeringly huge amount of $26 billion to various tech firms in 2021 to allow Google Search to stay as the default search engine everywhere from smartphone to web on all web browsers. What’s also startling and perhaps not so much is that a huge portion of that sum was paid to Apple to ensure Google search remains the default option on iPhone’s default browser Safari.

Recently, it came to light that Google paid a total of $26.3 billion in 2021 to be the default search engine option on all the electronic platforms.

The came out during the Justice Department’s cross-examination of Google’s search chief Prabhakar Raghavan.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google earlier announced that Google Search as raked in $44 billion in the last three months. The conglomerate brought in $165 billion in 2022. Verge writes that Google’s entire ad business generated $90 billion in profit. And it’s flushing out a huge portion of the profit to stay as the first-choice search engine.

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Google paid $18 billion to Apple to be the default search engine on iPhones

As per The New York Times, Google paid Apple a total of $18 billion in 2021 to remain as the default search engine on Apple’s proprietary Safari browser. It’s not just Apple though. Google also has a deal with Mozilla, and Samsung for the same purpose on their service platforms. The US tech giant has deals with model phone vendors, browsers, carriers, and other electronic platforms to remain the default search engine.  

However obvious it seemed, Google had never openly shared these details making it a matter of constant speculation as to exactly how much it was worth for Google search engine to create its monopoly across almost all the digital platforms.

Raghavan said that Google has to do everything to ensure that it remains on top it the hotly contested market and pointed to the competition it faces from TikTok and ChatGPT. Justice Department on the other hand is making a case that paying such a massive amount to replace other platforms and keep itself atop renders the market uncompetitive.

A few weeks later, it will be decided who is right and if Google fails to justify the spending, it may be fined a huge amount.

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