A company executive, Prabhakar Raghavan, testified that in 2021, Google paid a substantial $26.3 billion to maintain its default search engine status and acquire traffic. This move was primarily aimed at securing its position, with Apple being a key beneficiary as Google pays exorbitant sums to remain the default search option on Apple’s devices, including iPhone, iPad, and Mac.
In addition to this, Raghavan revealed that Google’s search advertising generated an impressive $146.4 billion in revenue during 2021. This context highlights the significance of the $26 billion expenditure on default status.
While the exact amount paid to Apple wasn’t disclosed during the testimony, estimates suggest it could be as high as $19 billion. It’s interesting to note that Google’s expenditure for default search engine status has increased significantly over the years, with a fourfold increase from 2014 to 2021.