Earlier this year, it came out that Google paid around $1.5 billion in 2019 to be the default search engine on various devices in the UK alone, most of which naturally goes to Apple. Factor in other countries, and it's likely to be a multi-billion dollar deal between the two tech behemoths (the DoJ estimates it at around $8-12 billion). It's a convenient arrangement that goes back more than a decade. Apple gets to serve the best search results to iPhone and iPad users, who in turn get served with Google's ads — everyone wins. Except for consumers, according to US antitrust authorities, and it's this increasing scrutiny that is pushing Apple to develop a competitive search engine of its own.
Google has been in hot water with government authorities time and time again, most recently when it comes to its acquisition of Fitbit in the EU. Now it looks like Google might have more tough times ahead in its home territory as the US Justice Department is reportedly considering forcing Google to sell the Chrome browser along with parts of its advertising business.
Google’s been facing antitrust cases left, right, and center in nearly all its major global markets, and it looks like those legal woes aren’t going away anytime soon. While the search giant’s Indian arm has already been contesting a couple of existing anti-competitive lawsuits (it was even fined $21 million in one of them), a new case alleges similar behavior in the smart TV market and makes some serious accusations about Google abusing its dominance.
Google has faced a lot of scrutiny in Europe. Whether it's finding fault with Google being the default search provider on Android phones to considering a ban on face recognition in public spaces, the EU generally takes a very pro-consumer focus on things. Now a series of working documents have surfaced that indicate the European Commission is considering a number of proposals that affect big tech — including a requirement that users be allowed to remove any pre-installed applications on a device.
Last month was a great one for non-gaming drama lovers like me. Not content with its cut of the pie on mobile, Epic launched an assault on the Android and iOS app stores, leading to Apple removing Fortnite. Soon after, Google followed suit. Epic filed lawsuits alleging unfair treatment by both companies. Now Google is making a new move in the high-stakes game of corporate warfare: the company is looking to have Epic's suit dismissed.
The Department of Justice is preparing to conduct a wide-ranging antitrust investigation into Google's business practices, multiple sources have said to news agencies. The scope of the sweep looks to include the company's primary search and online advertising operations. The speculation comes in the wake of a series of penalties and further awaiting trials in other parts of the world on Google's anti-competitive behavior.
This story was originally published and last updated .
Google may have announced its intention to purchase Fitbit last year, but deals between large corporations like this move slowly. Regulators in both the US and EU have expressed concern about the world's largest ad company gaining access to potentially sensitive health data gathered by Fitbit's wearable devices, and Google's reassurances haven't helped. After an initial review by the European Commission, it has decided to press ahead with an in-depth investigation into the merger that is expected to be completed by December 9.