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Google is paying to remain the default search engine on several platforms for “preload exclusivity on a device-by-device basis”, the company’s CEO Sundar Pichai has testified in the ongoing US vs. Google antitrust trial, stressing that they make real good products for the internet as a whole.
The Google CEO defended Google’s business practices, including its deal with Apple and other partners to make Google the default search engine.
During the US Justice Department’s hearing late on Monday, Pichai said that Google Search, Android and Chrome are not only good products, but are good for the Internet as a whole, reports The Verge.
“People use Android to build smartphones at prices as low as $30, and it’s what has helped bring hundreds of millions of people online,” said Pichai.
Google spent around $26.3 billion in 2021 to remain the default search engine in multiple browsers, phones and platforms.
The figure came out during the US Justice Department’s cross-examination of Google’s search head, Prabhakar Raghavan, last week.
At the beginning of Pichai’s testimony, Google lawyer John Schmidtlein had him walk through his life and work history, from growing up in India to running one of the largest companies on the planet. Pichai joined Google in 2004, and Schmidtlein asked why he believed in the company.
“I saw the potential. I realised for the first time the internet would touch most of humanity and it was a once-in-a-generation opportunity,” Pichai said.
When the lawyers asked about Google’s deal with Apple, Pichai said that “we wanted to make sure that as we contemplate a long-term deal, the concept of default was preserved in a consistent way.”
Google was worried at the time that Apple might make a deal with, say, Amazon.
“Google also worried about Apple’s new Suggestions feature in Safari, which would help users navigate directly for some queries rather than sending everyone to Google’s results page,” according to the report.
In its latest quarterly earnings report, Google said that its Search and other advertising revenues of $44 billion were up 11 per cent, led again by growth in retail.
YouTube advertising revenues of $8 billion in the quarter were up 12 per cent, driven by both brand advertising and direct response.