Google remains the default search engine on Apple’s platform, a major obstacle for its competitors, British regulators said on Wednesday local time,media reported. The Mountain View search engine giant reportedly paid Apple billions of dollars to maintain its default search engine position for Safari on the entire hardware platform. In 2018, for example, Google allegedly paid $9 billion for those rights.
British regulators have been investigating payments between Apple and Google and said in a report released Wednesday that the deal poses a major obstacle to entry and expansion, Reuters reported.
The Competition and Markets Authority found that Apple received the vast majority of the $1.5bn Google paid to become the default search engine for UK devices.
“Given the impact of pre-installed and default mobile devices and Apple’s significant market share, we believe that Apple’s existing agreement with Google poses a significant barrier to entry and expansion for competitors that influence mobile search engine competition,” the regulator wrote in the report. “
The report also says the UK government should do more. Law enforcement should be given a range of options to resolve the deal, including requiring users to choose a default search engine.
In addition to the default Safari search engine location, Apple also switched its Siri, iOS and Spotlight features from Bing to Google in 2017.
The report comes amid heightened antitrust investigations into Apple and Google in the Us and Europe.
Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice are said to be reviewing Apple’s App Store policy, and the European Commission is investigating allegations of anti-competitive behavior in the app market.