Google has been found to pay Apple a significant 36% of the advertising revenue generated from Google searches on Apple's Safari browser. This previously confidential detail was disclosed by University of Chicago economics professor Kevin Murphy during his testimony in Alphabet's ongoing trial with the Justice Department in Washington. Bloomberg first reported this revelation on Monday.
Tech giants under scrutiny
This information casts new light on the relationship between Google and Apple, two of the world's largest tech companies. Their partnership has been the subject of antitrust investigations in recent years. The Department of Justice (DOJ) accuses Google of using its substantial resources to maintain its dominance in the market. This includes paying large sums to companies like Apple to ensure Google remains the default search engine on popular devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs. In 2021, it was reported that Google paid Apple approximately US$18 billion for this default status, according to a New York Times article.
Concerns over public disclosure
Last week, both Google and Apple expressed concerns about publicising their agreement's specifics. Google argued in a court filing that revealing more details could “unreasonably undermine Google's competitive standing in relation to both competitors and other counterparties.”
The financial impact
While the exact amount of advertising revenue Google earns from Safari searches is unknown, given Google's total revenue of US$279.8 billion in 2022, with a significant portion from advertising, the 36% paid to Apple could easily amount to tens of billions of dollars.