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Lawsuit accuses Google of paying Apple to stay away from the search engine industry

According to a press release, a class action lawsuit has been filed in California against Google, Apple, and their CEOs for allegedly breaking antitrust rules. According to the statement, the case seeks for Google and Apple to be split up into different and independent corporations, similar to how Standard Oil was split up into Exxon, Mobile, Conoco, Amoco, Sohio, Chevron, and others.

Courtesy: macrumors.com

According to the press release, the action alleges that Google and Apple agreed that Apple would stay out of the internet search business against Google. It also claims that Google splits its search profits with Apple and gives Apple preferential treatment for all Apple devices; that Google pays Apple annual multibillion-dollar payments not to compete in the search business; that Google suppresses smaller competitors to keep them out of the search sector; and that Google acquires competing companies. According to the press release, the allegations also involve greater advertising charges than would be found in a competitive system.

According to the press statement, attorneys are seeking a stop to Google’s alleged billion-dollar payments to Apple and are asking the court to outlaw non-compete agreements between the two businesses, as well as the profit-sharing agreement and preferential treatment for Google on Apple devices. “These powerful companies abused their size by unlawfully foreclosing and monopolising major markets that, in an otherwise free enterprise system, would have created jobs, lowered prices, increased production, added new competitors, encouraged innovations, and increased the quality of services in the digital age,” said plaintiffs’ attorney Joseph M. Alioto of Alioto Law.

According to The New York Times, Apple obtains an estimated $8-12 billion each year in exchange for making Google the default search engine on its iPhones in 2020. According to one analyst, Google’s payment to Apple to maintain the status quo in 2021 might have been as high as $15 billion.

The corporations could not be reached for comment right away. Apple and Google have previously disputed any charges of antitrust infringement.

While the payments are for Google to be the default search engine, Apple and Google would likely claim that users can choose from a variety of search engines on Safari, including Microsoft’s Bing, Verizon’s Yahoo, and independent search engines DuckDuckGo and Ecosia.

Apple would almost certainly point out that it is already in the search engine business, with Applebot, an active web crawler. Although previous reports have interpreted Applebot’s increased activity as Apple “stepping up efforts” to develop its own search technology should its agreement with Google become incompatible with antitrust laws, previous reports have interpreted Applebot’s increased activity as Apple “stepping up efforts” to develop its own search technology should its agreement with Google become incompatible with antitrust laws.

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