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Apple emerges as search's ultimate kingmaker


Google’s antitrust trial has laid bare just how much the search giant relies on its competitors - and how vulnerable that makes it.

Half of Google’s traffic and revenue comes from Apple. That’s why it pays billions to be the default search engine on iPhone and Macs.

Without this agreement, Google could lose $80 billion in annual ad revenue. To try to ensure that doesn’t happen, Google pays Apple $8-10 billion-a-year.

That deal - $10 billion for $80 billion has left antitrust experts scratching their heads.

Why wouldn’t Apple build its own search engine? It’s not in Apple’s nature to leave $70 billion on the table.

Those backroom murmurs are now going mainstream.

Apple is in a golden position.

The antitrust case has revealed Apple as the kingmaker for the future of search.

  • If Google wins the case, Apple has the leverage for a much larger deal
  • If Google loses, Apple can cut a lucrative deal with Bing citing antitrust concerns
  • Or Apple can buy Bing, which it considered three years ago
  • Or Apple can build its own search engine.

Apple already has experience with Bing. It was the default web search engine used by Siri and on Spotlight until Google replaced it in 2017.

At the beginning of the trial, commentators were surprised Google let the case get to court as it would reveal potentially embarrassing details and the company’s inner workings.

That seems to be playing out with the scuttlebutt being that Google looks thin and rocky, while Apple looks rock solid.

By Ricky Sutton

First published on Future Media, focused on the collision of news media with Big Tech

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