Google CEO Sundar Pichai Backs Billion-Dollar Payouts To Apple, Others To Maintain Search Dominance: 'We Provide The Best Experience'

Google GOOGL CEO, Sundar Pichai, stood his ground on Monday, backing his company’s practice of paying billions to Apple and other tech firms to secure Google as the default search facility on their devices.

According to an Associated Press report, Pichai was testifying in the most significant U.S. antitrust case in 25 years. The CEO argued that the intention behind these payments was to create a “seamless and easy” user experience.

"We are working very, very hard for any given query we provide the best experience. That's always been our true north.,” Pichai said.

The U.S. Department of Justice, however, views these payments, which totaled over $26 billion in 2021, as Google’s strategy to stifle competition and innovation by locking out rival search engines.

See Also: Elon Musk Wants To Turn X Into Dating App, Digital Bank By 2024?

In his defense, Pichai stated that the payments made to phone manufacturers and wireless phone companies were partially meant to encourage them to make costly security upgrades and other enhancements to their devices, rather than solely to ensure Google’s dominance as the initial search engine users encounter.

The ongoing antitrust lawsuit, the largest since the Justice Department targeted Microsoft’s internet browser dominance 25 years ago, was initiated in 2020 during the Trump administration. The trial began on Sep.12 in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. A ruling in the case is not expected until early next year.

If Google is found guilty of breaking the law, another trial will determine how to curb its market power. This could potentially halt the company’s practice of paying out to Apple and other companies to remain the default search engine.

Read Next: Elon Musk Agrees With Millions Of Users Worldwide, YouTube Ads Are ‘Getting Out Of Control’

Photo by World Economic Forum on Flickr

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