Eddy Cue set to testify in Google antitrust case, will explain why Apple has never made its own search engine

Eddy Cue set to testify in Google antitrust case, will explain why Apple has never made its own search engine

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Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Services, is set to take the stand on Tuesday to testify in the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google. Cue’s testimony, which is expected to last most of the day, will focus largely on the deal between Apple and Google that makes Google the default search engine on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

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The Department of Justice’s case against Google alleges that the company’s search engine violates antitrust law. Apple is not named as a party in the lawsuit, but its deal with Google is one of the tentpole aspects of the Justice Department’s case. Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to retain its status as the default search engine on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

According to sources familiar with the anticipated testimony, much of Cue’s testimony is expected to focus on the inner workings of this deal between Apple and Google. Those sources say that Cue is expected to explain that Apple teams up with Google in this regard because it makes the best search engine product on the market. Apple’s goal is that customers have the best experience out of the box, and Google being the default search engine helps it achieve that goal, Cue will say.

One aspect of the Department of Justice’s case is that Google’s multi-billion dollar payments to Apple stave off the possibility that Apple creates a search engine of its own. During his testimony, Cue will rebuff these claims and instead argue that Apple’s decision not to enter the search engine business is due to a prioritization of resources, the people say. And again, Apple’s belief that Google simply makes the best product in this category.

Cue is also expected to reveal to the court that Apple has deals in place with other search engines as well, not just Google. The company has revenue share deals with the likes of Microsoft, Ecosia, DuckDuckGo, and Yahoo, sources familiar with the matter say. These deals mean that Apple gets a cut of the revenue generated by Apple users who set those search engines as their default.

Cue’s testimony is expected to last most of the day on Tuesday. At this point, however, it’s unclear how much of the testimony will be public. This is up to the court itself to decide, and not something over which Apple has direct control.

Back in 2020, Bloomberg reported on a secret deal between Apple and Google that sees Apple receive a cut of revenue from searches performed in Chrome on iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Meanwhile, The Information reported last year that Apple has hit numerous roadblocks in its efforts to develop more robust search infrastructure of its own.

John Giannandrea, Apple’s senior vice president of ML and AI strategy, testified in the case last Thursday and Friday. Prior to joining Apple in 2018, Giannandrea also spent nearly a decade working at Googles the company’s senior vice president of engineering for search. Much of his testimony, however, took place behind closed doors.

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