Google’s payments for Search being a default are an integral part of keeping Android supported. That’s the argument that Google is making in its most recent testimony during the ongoing antitrust trial that it’s in currently with the US Justice Department. Google, which started its defense in this trial nearly two weeks ago, is being sued by the US Justice Department for allegedly operating an illegal monopoly in the search market.
Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai was one of the first to take the stand in the company’s defense. Stating that search market is “very competitive.” And that Google had to renegotiate a deal with Apple to prevent it from developing its own search product.
The competitive nature of search is yet again the topic of Google’s defense. During the trial on Wednesday, part-time Google employee Jamie Rosenberg says the competition between Google and Apple is “as intense as it gets.” Implying that payments to other companies such as Samsung and wireless carriers were a crucial part of supporting Android. Which was necessary to compete with Apple and its iOS platform.
Search payments are integral for Android to compete with iOS
According to Google the payments aren’t just about locking in its Search product as the default option on devices. But rather they’re a huge part of ensuring Android is able to compete with iOS. In addition to the revenue-share from search, Google reportedly utilizes another agreement that’s intended to get them to sell more Android devices. As part of this agreement companies would get money in exchange for selling more Android phones.
According to Rosenberg this was a way for Google to further compete with Apple. Rosenberg also states that wireless carriers weren’t motivated to sell more Android devices just based on the search revenue-share alone.
Interestingly, the US Justice Department suggests that Google could fund this support of Android through revenue earned from the Play Store. Which amounted to around $12 billion back in 2021. Rosenberg insists however that this wouldn’t necessarily be the case. And that less success with search could mean less success with the Play Store. Essentially implying that the success of search helps to also drive the success of the Play Store and its total earnings.