Apple Former General Counsel Bruce Sewell: Search Talks With Google Took 4 Months

The deal to make Google the default search engine for Safari on iPhones and Macs is worth billions and took about four months of daily negotiations to complete.

It’s no secret that Google pays Apple billions of dollars to remain the default search engine on Safari across all Apple devices. Given the ad revenue that Apple users generate for the search engine giant, it’s certainly understandable as to why it’s ready to spend the big bucks to secure the deal.

In a new interview conducted by a Colombia Law School student with Apple’s former general counsel Bruce Sewell, it’s revealed that the very negotiations that took place between the two tech giants over Safari’s default search engine took almost four months of daily meetings to finalize.

According to Sewell, the negotiations included near-daily meetings alongside CEO Tim Cook or Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and lawyer Kent Walker:

“The Google negotiation for example, between Apple and Google over search, probably took us four months,” Sewell said. Sewell said he was “meeting almost every single day” with Google CEO Sundar Pichai and general counsel Kent Walker.

He continued: “And then with myself and either Tim [Cook] or Eddy Cue who was my counterpart on that deal. They’d be at Google or we’d be at Apple almost every day, it’s just one example there are a lot of those kinds of negotiations or lawsuits that just completely suck up all your time.”

Neither company has officially disclosed the amount of money that the search deal is worth. Last September, Goldman Sachs estimated that Google paid Apple somewhere around $9 billion USD to remain the default search engine on iOS devices for another year.

Elsewhere in the interview, Sewell recalled what it was like managing a legal team of 900 people with a budget of just under $1 billion USD. He also recalled reporting directly to Tim Cook, and how he woke up to a barrage of emails from the CEO each morning.

“Tim is a little crazy in his work schedule,” Sewell said.

‘From 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m., there’s a lot of activity, so my first thing when I got up around 6:30 a.m. would be to check my email and see all the stuff that Tim had left for me, the little cookies he’s left for me,” he continued.

Mr. Sewell was Apple’s general counsel from 2009 to 2017 before he was replaced by Katherine Adams, who is currently Apple’s top lawyer.

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