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Google pays Apple to be the default search engine on Apple's Safari web browser on iPhones and Macs, which causes a "significant barrier to entry and expansion" for rivals in the search engine market, said the UK Competition and Markets Authority in a report released today (via Reuters).

searchengineoptionsios.jpg

The relationship between Apple and Google impacts Microsoft's Bing, Verizon's Yahoo, and independent search engine DuckDuckGo. Apple allows users to set these search engines as their default in the Safari settings, a privilege the search engines pay for, but Google Search remains the default on a new device.

Apple received the "substantial majority" of the $1.5 billion (1.2 billion pounds) that Google paid to be the default search engine on various devices in the United Kingdom in 2019, according to the report.
"Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple's significant market share, it is our view that Apple's existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles," the regulators wrote in the report.
UK regulators believe that enforcement authorities should be provided with a range of options to address the arrangement between Apple and Google to provide a more level playing field for other search engines.

Apple could be required to provide "choice screens" that would let users decide which search engine to set as default during device setup, or could be restricted from monetizing default search engine positions, a move that Apple said would be "very costly."

Apple and Google have never confirmed exactly how much Google pays to be the default search engine on Apple devices in the UK, the United States, and other countries, but it's rumored to be in the billions.

Article Link: UK Regulators Call Google's Search Engine Deal With Apple a 'Significant Barrier' for Competitors
 

ryanmp

macrumors member
Dec 6, 2016
96
133
Honestly, I get so tired of seeing these kind of issues popping up all the time. I don't want to get a new iPhone and have to spend an hour choosing default apps for every single thing the phone can do, its just stupid. Apple gives people the choice to customise these things after initial setup, and in iOS 14 is giving even more choice.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
21,268
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California
A choice screen on setup sounds like a good idea. There has to be room for other search engines to grow, we've already been down dark routes on the web before with IE6 and now Chrome on its way down that path too.

Those other search engines can market themselves and then you are free to make them your default.

Why do we need yet another screen to deal with when we setup a new device? There are already a dozen.
 
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Moonjumper

macrumors 68020
Jun 20, 2009
2,456
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Lincoln, UK
This makes no sense. If apple received no money but did not offer a choice, it would still affect competing Search engines the same way. So why does apple making money off it matter?
It is not offering the choice that is the issue:

“Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles,” the regulators wrote in the report.
 
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cmaier

macrumors Core
Jul 25, 2007
21,268
24,160
California
It is not offering the choice that is the issue:

“Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, it is our view that Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles,” the regulators wrote in the report.
Yes it is. They say they either want apple to offer a choice screen, or they want apple to not be paid by google, or both.

My point is that not being paid by google does not solve the problem (if there is a problem) because if apple just continues to make google the default search engine, that doesn’t help any competitors.
 
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KanosWRX

macrumors 6502
Jul 14, 2008
349
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People have a choice. Its their own fault if they don't exercise their brains to use it... Now if Apple didn't give people a choice then they would have something to complain about... As long as people have options though, it should be fine... Now if we could just get some options to change more of the default Apps, i.e. Maps, Assistant, Camera... that is where people/governments should be focusing, on the area's where people don't have a choice!
 
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gaximus

macrumors 65816
Oct 11, 2011
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Apple once removed Google as the default search engine(bad blood, don't remember the reason). If other search engines want to be default then they just need to pay Apple more than Google is offering.
 
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jayducharme

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Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
Apple’s existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles
IMO this is really deceptive phrasing. What's the significant barrier? Clicking on Settings and choosing a different default? I agree that yet another choice to make when first using an iPhone would start to get really tiresome. I guess Apple could just have a "Later" button to bypass it. But this isn't like the old MS days when you were forced to use Internet Exploder; with Apple you can select any default search engine you want, and you can choose to use a different browser as well.
 
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chucker23n1

macrumors 603
Dec 7, 2014
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"Given the impact of preinstallations and defaults on mobile devices and Apple's significant market share, it is our view that Apple's existing arrangements with Google create a significant barrier to entry and expansion for rivals affecting competition between search engines on mobiles,"

The payment creates no barrier.

Setting a default at all does create a barrier, no doubt. The way to solve this would be to add another setup screen, maybe when first performing a query in Safari. But doing so makes the software harder and more annoying to use, so it comes at a cost.
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But this isn't like the old MS days when you were forced to use Internet Exploder; with Apple you can select any default search engine you want, and you can choose to use a different browser as well.

This is basically exactly like that, though. You were never "forced to use Internet Explorer".
 
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velocityg4

macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2004
5,680
2,185
Georgia
Apple should buy Lycos. Make that the default search. 🤪

I just decided to lookup search engines. Lycos seems to be one of the only 90's search engines still alive that still uses their own engine. It was a bit disappointing to see Webcrawler uses Bing.😢
 
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DblHelix

macrumors 6502
Mar 19, 2009
461
336
My question for them is who wants to use Yahoo, bing, or duck duck go. We had yahoo and msn search before google and people all switched to google.
 
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