Class-Action Lawsuit Accuses Google Of Paying Apple Not To Develop A Search Engine, As The Two Combined Forces To Suppress Smaller Rivals

Apple agreed with Google that it would not develop its own Internet search engine, as long as Google keeps paying them to make its engine the default option, according to a class-action lawsuit.

Source: Gizmodo

The lawsuit, filed in a California court earlier this week against Apple, Google and their CEOs, alleges the two companies had an agreement not to compete in the internet search engine business, violating the US antitrust law.
Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai participated in "regular secret meetings" in which Google agreed to share its profits with Apple if their tools are prioritized on Apple devices.
The class-action lawsuit accuses Google of paying Apple billions of dollars in annual payments, based on an agreement that Apple would not release its own search engine, and that non-compete agreement includes a plan to suppress smaller competitors and acquire potential ones.
The lawsuit also claims Apple and Google has respectively acquired more than 120 and 147 competitors and potential competitors over the past 22 years.
Based on audio recordings from outsiders at where the deal took place, the lawsuit alleges that Google paid Apple what an amount up to $50 billion.
The lawsuit asks the court to prohibit the non-compete agreement between Google and Apple, terminate the profit-sharing and preferential treatment agreements, and put an end to the multi-billion-dollar payments. In addition, it also requires Apple to return to Google any illicit profits in the search engine agreement.
Finally, the lawsuit calls for the separation of Google and Apple into separate and independent companies, following precedent such as Standard Oil, which split into Exxon, Mobile, Conoco, Amoco, Sohio, and Chevron in 1911.
It's no longer a secret that Apple and Google have an agreement to make Google the default search engine on Apple devices.
In 2020, The New York Times reported that Apple receives an estimated $8-12 billion per year in exchange for Google becoming the default search on its devices. According to one analyst, Google's payment to Apple in 2021 to maintain this could have reached $15 billion.
This is said to be the largest payment Google has made to any company, and could represent up to a fifth of Apple's annual profits. This issue has also brought the two companies under scrutiny by US and UK antitrust authorities.
H/T: MacRumorsGizmodo
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