Google Reportedly Pays Apple Cut from Chrome iOS Search Revenue
According to a report by The Register, Google pays Apple a portion of search revenue generated by people using Chrome on iPhones and iPads.
Citing a source familiar with the matter, the report claims that Google is paying Apple in return for being the default search in Safari, among other benefits.
The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is already looking into Chrome on iOS and its role in a search revenue sharing deal Google has with Apple.
What concerns the British competition watchdog is that Google’s payments to Apple discourage the iPhone maker from competing with Google.
It is believed that this settlement is also why Apple has not launched a rival search engine or invested enough in the development of Safari to compete with Chrome.
The CMA’s 356-page report, published June 10 last year omits a crucial detail on page 174, section 5.117:
Google pays Apple a share of the search revenue it earns from browser traffic on iOS in the following contexts: in return for being the default search provider on Safari, Google pays Apple a share of revenue derived from Safari search traffic; and pursuant to various commercial arrangements, Google pays Apple a share of revenue derived from [x] search traffic.
In the report, the [x] is represented by a scissors icon, signaling that text has been redacted.
The following passage is from section 5.118:
Under these agreements, Apple receives a significant share of revenue from Google Search traffic on Safari and [x] on iOS devices. Google’s estimated payments to Apple for search default status on Safari (£[1-1.5] billion total in 2021 for the UK) were substantially more than those made to its next largest partner, Samsung.
These alleged revenue-sharing arrangements – which are known in detail only to a limited number of people and have yet to be fully disclosed – have been noted by the UK CMA as well as the US Justice Department
Apple and Google are currently trying to have an antitrust suit dismissed citing a lack of evidence of a horizontal agreement between the two companies.