The recent landmark antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department claims that Google paid mobile carriers $1 billion last year to continue its monopolistic dominance of searches completed on America’s smartphones.
Bloomberg reports that a landmark antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department claims that tech giant Google paid out over $1 billion last year to mobile carriers in the United States to distribute its search engine, ensuring its massive market share of mobile searches remains steady. The DOJ suit filed on Tuesday outlines multiple methods google sues to make its search engine the default service on browsers, smartphones, and other tech platforms.
This includes deals with Apple and Android manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics. Google also made a number of revenue sharing agreements with major mobile carriers to block competing search engines and browsers, the Justice Department stated. Carriers reportedly received a portion of search advertising revenue for making Google Search the default search engine on their devices.
“If a carrier or manufacturer does not renew its revenue sharing agreement with Google, the distributor loses out on revenue share not only for new mobile devices but also for the phones and tablets previously sold and in the hands of consumers,” the Justice Department said in the suit. “This provision is punitive to the carrier or manufacturer and helps to ensure that carriers and manufacturers will not stray from Google.”
Google reportedly paid major U.S. carriers more than $1 billion, the Department of Justice noted. A Google document from 2014 in the lawsuit showed that the company paid $460 million for the deals which typically run for two or three years. The providers involved in the deals were not named but the largest U.S. providers are Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., and T-Mobile U.S. Inc.
Google’s head of global affairs, Kent Walker, commented on the situation stating: “Our agreements with Apple and other device makers and carriers are no different from the agreements that many other companies have traditionally used to distribute software.”