Last Friday, Prabhakar Raghavan, Google’s Vice President, spilled the beans that the tech giant coughed up a jaw-dropping $26.3 billion in 2021. And for what, you ask? To keep their VIP status as the default search engine and lure in web traffic, according to a Bloomberg report. It’s a safe bet to say that Apple, Google’s long-time cozy partner, snagged the majority of this golden pie. After all, Google has been throwing truckloads of cash at Apple for years to ensure its search engine stays front and center on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
This financial revelation came to light during Raghavan’s testimony in the Department of Justice’s ongoing antitrust legal battle against Google. To give you a sense of scale, Raghavan pointed out that Google raked in a colossal $146.4 billion from search advertising last year alone. So that makes the $26 billion expense for default status seem like just another day at the Googleplex, relatively speaking. He went on to specify that holding onto that coveted default status is, in fact, the priciest line item when it comes to acquiring user traffic.
Now, before you start thinking Google cut a $19 billion check to Apple and called it a day, Raghavan kept mum on exactly how that $26.3 billion was divvied up. However, financial pundits at private wealth management firm Bernstein estimated that Google could potentially slide as much as $19 billion Apple’s way this year just to keep its default search engine privileges intact.
To drive home the point, a courtroom slide flashed some 2014 figures that are worth noting: Google had $47 billion in search revenue and doled out a “mere” $7.1 billion for default status. Quick math tells us that from 2014 to 2021, Google’s spending on default status has almost quadrupled. And in the same time frame, its search ad revenue has about tripled.
Google wasn’t too thrilled about these numbers becoming public knowledge, fearing it would hamstring their haggling abilities in future deals. But Judge Amit Mehta, who’s overseeing this legal circus, didn’t share Google’s concerns and gave the green light to release the figures. So, the numbers are out, and the tech world is all ears.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Google Default Search Engine Spending 2021
What did Google spend $26.3 billion on in 2021?
Google spent $26.3 billion in 2021 to maintain its position as the default search engine on various platforms and to acquire web traffic. The information came to light during a testimony by Google’s Vice President, Prabhakar Raghavan, in an ongoing antitrust lawsuit by the Department of Justice.
Who is likely to have received the majority of this spending?
Although it wasn’t explicitly stated, it is highly likely that Apple received the lion’s share of this spending. Google has been known to pay Apple large sums of money for years to remain the default search engine on Apple’s range of devices like iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
How much did Google make from search advertising in 2021?
Google’s search advertising generated a staggering $146.4 billion in revenue in 2021. This was also part of the testimony given by Prabhakar Raghavan.
What has been the trend in Google’s spending on default search engine status?
According to a slide shown in court, Google’s spending on maintaining its default search engine status has nearly quadrupled from 2014 to 2021. In 2014, the figure was $7.1 billion, and it shot up to $26.3 billion in 2021.
Did Google want these financial figures to be made public?
No, Google objected to the disclosure of these figures, fearing it would negatively impact their ability to negotiate future contracts. However, Judge Amit Mehta, who is overseeing the case, allowed the figures to be released.
What is the antitrust lawsuit against Google about?
The Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit against Google aims to investigate whether the company is engaging in anti-competitive practices, particularly in relation to its dominant position as a search engine.
Who is Prabhakar Raghavan?
Prabhakar Raghavan is the Vice President of Google, and he was the one who testified about these financial figures as part of the ongoing antitrust lawsuit against the company.
Is there any estimate on how much Google could pay Apple in the future?
Although it’s speculative, private wealth management firm Bernstein estimated that Google could pay Apple up to $19 billion in the coming year to maintain its default search engine status.
More about Google Default Search Engine Spending 2021
- Bloomberg Report on Google’s Spending
- CNBC Article on Google-Apple Partnership
- Department of Justice Antitrust Lawsuit Against Google
- Bernstein Wealth Management’s Estimates on Google-Apple Payments
- Prabhakar Raghavan’s Professional Profile
- Historical Data on Google’s Advertising Revenue
- Judge Amit Mehta’s Court Decisions
- Information on Google’s Default Search Engine Deals