Google, Apple had secret agreement on search business, alleges lawsuit

WION Web Team
Washington Published: Jan 07, 2022, 11:23 AM(IST)

A 3D printed Google logo is placed on the Apple Macbook in this illustration taken April 12, 2020. (File Photo) Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The lawsuit alleged that Apple and Google "agreed to suppress" other search providers including "non-Google favoured advertisers".

According to reports, a lawsuit has been filed in the US which alleges Apple had concluded an agreement with tech giant Google to ensure that it won't get into search business and that its search engine will be on top in its devices.

"In exchange for Apple’s commitment not to compete in the search business in competition with Google, Google agreed to share its profits from the search business with Apple and, in addition, to pay Apple extra billions of dollars," the lawsuit alleged.

Also Read: India’s anti-trust agency orders probe against Apple for unfair business practices

The class-action lawsuit however did not specify the exact amount in "billions".

"Apple’s devices give Google a substantial and unfair anti-competitive advantage over other search providers," it said while naming Yahoo! DuckDuckGo and Bing as potential competitors.

The development comes as French regulators on Thursday slapped a $237 million fine on Google and Facebook over the use of "cookies" which tracks user data.

Also Read: Is Apple making the same mistakes made by Nokia?

The lawsuit alleged that Apple and Google "agreed to suppress" other search providers including "non-Google favoured advertisers".

It claimed that the agreements were negotiated from time to time in "private" and  "personal meetings" between the "Chief Executive Officers and Chairmen of Apple and Google."

"The architects of the combination during the early 2000s were Steve Jobs, the CEO and chairman of Apple, and Eric Schmidt, the CEO and chairman of Google," it said.

The lawsuit alleged that there was a "continued combination to eliminate competition" between the two companies "re-affirmed by Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, and Sundar Pichai, CEO and Chairman of Google".

The lawsuit said the actions by the two companies were "illegal" and against the anti-trust laws of the country.

The lawsuit claimed half of Google’s search business was conducted through Apple devices and that Apple was a "major potential" threat to Google and it had designated Apple as “Code Red.”

(With inputs from Agencies)

Read in App