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Apple deal makes Google "seamless and easy" to use — CEO

Google pays to be the default

Google CEO Sundar Pichai told the US Federal court overseeing his company's antitrust case that Google's deal with Apple makes it "very, very seamless and easy for users to use our services."

From Google's perspective, its position as Apple's default search engine leads to increased use of Google's products and services, Pichai said, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"So there is clear value in that and that's what we were looking for," Pichai added.

Pichai was called to testify Monday as the trial entered its eighth week. Lawyers representing the US Department of Justice (DoJ) have asserted that Google "knowingly crossed antitrust lines" then worked to cover up those efforts.

"They knew these agreements crossed antitrust lines," said Kenneth Dintzer, DoJ Deputy Branch Director, said in his opening remarks in September. "Defaults are powerful, scale matters and Google illegally maintained a monopoly for more than a decade."

Apple is not accused of wrongdoing in the case, but Federal prosecutors have cited Google's primacy as Apple's default search engine as an example of the company's overreach. From Apple's perspective, it's about providing best results for customers, according to Apple senior vice president of Services Eddy Cue.

When he was asked to testify in September, Cue told the court, "We make Google be the default search engine because we've always thought it was the best."

The trial lumbers on under the aegis of U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta. It was originally expected to take about 10 weeks, so it's in its final stages now.

Prosecutors claim that Google paid $26.3 billion to be the default search engine used on mobile phones and by web browsers in 2021, with analysts claiming the majority of that money going to Apple.

According to a report published by Bernstein, Apple could be out up to $20 billion in annual payments from Google, if Google is forced to change how it does business.