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Google reportedly pays $18 billion a year to be Apple’s default search engine

Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge

Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to be the default search engine in Safari on Macs, iPads, and iPhones. That, we’ve known for a long time. But exactly how many billions Google pays, what strings are attached to that money, and what might happen if it went away? Those have been the questions raised repeatedly in the ongoing US v. Google trial, and most of the numbers have been reserved for a closed courtroom.

But now, a New York Times report offers a specific figure: it says Google paid Apple “around $18 billion” in 2021. We’ve been hearing educated guesses and rumors during the trial as low as $10 billion and as high as $20 billion, so this number isn’t totally shocking. But it’s at the high end of expectations.


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