Google Confirms 36% of Safari Search Revenue Goes to Apple in Antitrust Testimony

Google Confirms 36% of Safari Search Revenue Goes to Apple in Antitrust Testimony

In a legal proceeding related to a lawsuit filed by Epic Games against Google, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed on Tuesday that Google pays Apple 36% of Safari search revenue, unveiling a key detail underpinning the Justice Department’s antitrust claims. Pichai’s testimony followed an inadvertent disclosure on Monday by an expert witness testifying on Google’s behalf in Washington, D.C., antitrust proceedings.

During the testimony, an attorney for Epic Games questioned Pichai about the accuracy of the disclosed figure. Pichai confirmed the 36% revenue-sharing agreement, acknowledging its significance to the ongoing antitrust scrutiny. The attorney for Epic Games further alleged that Google pays its largest Android hardware partner, Samsung, less than half of what it pays to Apple. While Pichai didn’t have precise details, he acknowledged the possibility, emphasizing the complexity of comparing deals like “apples and oranges.”

The revenue-sharing agreement between Google and Apple, a long-standing but undisclosed arrangement, had not been made public until Monday’s revelation from an expert witness, Professor Kevin Murphy. The disclosure was part of Google’s defense strategy in the antitrust case brought by Epic Games. Pichai also revealed that Google competes “fiercely with Apple,” addressing the intense rivalry between the tech giants. Google’s annual spending on Traffic Acquisition Costs (TAC), which includes payments to companies like Apple and Samsung to feature its search engine prominently, reached nearly $49 billion in 2022.

When questioned about the exact dollar amount paid to Apple, Pichai stated it was over $10 billion. However, the Epic Games attorney contested this, claiming the figure was $18 billion. The courtroom discussions prompted Judge James Donato to emphasize transparency, stating, “This is a courtroom in the United States — we do business in bright light and open doors.”

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, faces multiple legal challenges, including two Justice Department suits in Virginia and Washington, D.C., related to alleged anticompetitive behavior. Additionally, Epic Games has filed lawsuits against Alphabet, accusing the company of maintaining an illegal monopoly through its Google Play store.

As the legal battles unfold, criticism has emerged regarding the alleged concealment of information related to the cases, with both news outlets and the Justice Department expressing concerns about transparency in antitrust trials involving Google. Google, Samsung, and Apple have not immediately responded to requests for comments on Pichai’s testimony.

TechGolly editorial team led by Al Mahmud Al Mamun. He worked as an Editor-in-Chief at a world-leading professional research Magazine. Rasel Hossain and Enamul Kabir are supporting as Managing Editor. Our team is intercorporate with technologists, researchers, and technology writers. We have substantial knowledge and background in Information Technology (IT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Embedded Technology.

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