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Google paid Apple $20 Billion to be default search engine in 2022

In 2022, Alphabet paid Apple $20 billion

The ongoing antitrust lawsuit against Alphabet by the Justice Department has revealed that Google paid Apple a staggering $20 billion in 2022 for default search engine status.

Google's relationship has been under heavy scrutiny during an antitrust lawsuit accusing the company of using its size as an advantage to prevent competitors from entering the search market. One of the biggest issues in question is how much it pays Apple, which was previously estimated to be nearly $20 billion — a figure proven true by a new court filing.

Despite attempts by Google and Apple to keep the payment confidential, details emerged during the trial through testimony and accidental disclosures. According to a report from Bloomberg, court documents revealed that Google paid Apple $20 billion in 2022 to be the default search engine on Apple platforms.

The $20 billion figure wasn't in Apple or Google's security filings, but it was confirmed by unsealed testimonies. The figure was shared by Eddy Cue, Apple Senior Vice President of Services, during the trial.

Initially a free arrangement, it evolved into a lucrative deal where, by May 2021, Google was paying Apple over $1 billion monthly. In 2020, the figure was 17.5% of Apple's total operating income.

Close-up of an iPhone 14's dual camera lenses, flash, and logo on a white background.
Google pay Apple $20 billion for default search engine status on iPhone

Other figures were also disclosed by the filing. Microsoft tried to take over as the default search engine with Bing by offering 90% of its advertising revenue. Bing was even offered up for sale to Apple in 2020.

These factors are likely damning for Google's case. Google and the DOJ will offer closing arguments on Thursday and Friday, but a decision won't be made until later in the year.