New Lawsuit Alleges Google is Paying Apple Not to Develop its Own Search Engine

A new class action filed last week in a California court against Apple and Google is alleging that the latter is paying the iPhone maker to stay out of the search engine business and keep Google as the default option in Safari (via MacRumors).

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The lawsuit alleges that the two companies are violating US antitrust laws by having a non-compete agreement in the internet search business. The class-action suit also charges Apple CEO Tim Cook and Google CEO Sundar Pichai of participating in “regular secret meetings” regarding the matter.

The complaint further notes that Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year based on an agreement that Apple won’t launch its own search engine to compete with Google.

The complaint claims that advertising rates are subsequently higher than rates would be in a competitive system. It therefore seeks an injunction prohibiting the non-compete agreement between Google and Apple, a cessation of the profit-sharing agreement and preferential treatment, and an end to the multi-billion dollar payments.

Neither of the two companies has ever confirmed exactly how much Google pays to be the default search engine on iPhones and iPads in the United States, Canada, and other countries.