Google is thinking of paying up to $ 15 billion to remain the default search engine on the iPhone and iPad.

It’s no secret that Apple and Google have a substantial monetary deal that guarantees Google’s position as the default search engine on the Cupertino company’s devices.

In a new investor note from Bernstein’s financial advisor Toni Sacconaghi, the analyst says the Mountain View-based company’s payment to Apple to maintain its position as the default search engine  could reach $ 15 billion in 2021. , compared to 10 billion last year.

In the note Sacconaghi estimates that Google’s payments to Apple could continue to increase year on year and approach $ 18-20 billion in 2022 . The analyst bases his numbers on the iPhone maker’s public documents and a bottom-up analysis of Google’s traffic acquisition.

The U.S. company’s deal with Apple in the search and advertising markets has been in place for more than a decade, but with Google’s search engine dominance coming under increasing scrutiny in recent years, analysts at Bernstein believe the deal could soon face regulatory scrutiny.

Additionally, Yahoo and Microsoft were both interested in concluding a deal with Apple to take over from Google as the default search engine on iOS devices, and analysts suggest that Google’s large payments to Apple are made to ensure Microsoft does not exceed. offer .

Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google, alleging that the Mountain View-based company used anti-competitive and exclusionary practices in the search and advertising markets to maintain an illegal monopoly. One major complaint against Google is its deal with Apple which allows it to be the default search engine on the Safari browser and other search tools.

A few months ago, Sacconaghi argued that Apple should buy a search engine outright to put pressure on the search engine giant . Sacconaghi’s reasoning was based on the fact that Apple doesn’t have many alternatives to Google. However, the analyst also warned that such a move could trigger regulatory oversight that could ultimately stall the acquisition, putting Apple in a worse position than it is currently.

In 2020, news broke that Apple was planning to launch its own search engine after more activity was noticed by its web crawler, but the increase was later attributed to the company’s efforts to improve search results. of Siri and Spotlight .

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