A top Apple executive defended the tech giant’s decision to make Google the default search engine on Apple iPhones and Macs, saying there was no “valid alternative.”
Testifying in the biggest antitrust trial in a quarter century, Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of services, said Tuesday that there wasn’t “anybody as good” as Google at helping phone and computer users search the internet.
The U.S. Department of Justice has accused Google—its very name is synonymous with scouring the web—of smothering competition by paying Apple, Verizon and other tech companies to make its search engine the first that users see when they open their devices.
Google counters that it dominates the market because its search engine is better than the competition—a position that Apple’s Cue supported in his testimony Tuesday. Google also argues that users can, in any event, switch to other search engines with a couple of clicks.
The antitrust case, the biggest since the Justice Department went after Microsoft and its dominance of internet browsers 25 years ago, was filed in 2020 during the Trump administration. The trial began Sept. 12 in U.S. District Court in Washington D.C.
Earlier in the proceedings, the government called a behavioral economist who testified that Google’s default status discourages users from switching search engines, partly because they are reluctant to change ingrained habits. And last week, the founder of search engine DuckDuckGo, which has about 2.5% of the search market, testified that his company struggled to compete because of Google’s revenue-sharing agreements with Apple and other companies.
U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta likely won’t issue a ruling until early next year. If he decides Google broke the law, another trial will determine how to rein in Google’s market power. The Mountain View, California-based company could be stopped from paying Apple and other companies to make Google the default search engine.
Apple exec defends tech giant’s decision to make Google default search engine on Apple iPhones, Macs (2023, September 26)
retrieved 26 September 2023
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