Google, Apple now colluding to “work as one company”
03/26/2021 // Ethan Huff // Views

Evidence has emerged to suggest that tech giants Google and Apple are colluding with one another to illicitly drive search revenue growth, and antitrust watchdog groups want answers as to why nothing is being done about it.

The online campaign group Marketers For An Open Web (MOW) is urging the U.K.'s Competition and Markets Authority to investigate a complaint it filed about the two companies that points to foul play. The complaint cites documents from a Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit from back in October that was backed by 11 states.

Included in the documents are quotes from an internal email admitting that senior staff at both Google and Apple discussed a "vision that we work as if we are one company" when evaluating search income potential.

The lawsuit arose following massive pressure from regulators, smaller search engines like DuckDuckGo, and app developers about high fees, complex rules, and other unfair requirements built into the Google advertising empire.

Apple is also the subject of complaints for changes made to how user data from its app store is used. Together with Google, Apple appears to be manipulating the online advertising realm to create a joint monopoly.

Backed by advertising and news publishing companies, MOW cites internal evidence like the aforementioned email as well as U.S. regulatory filings on agreements that exist between the firms to suggest that illegal activity is taking place.

According to MOW, Google and Apple are both creating "walled gardens of app stores" while stifling innovation on the open web.


Google and Apple are both evil

While Apple purportedly generates most of its revenues from device sales, the company is now raking in about $12 billion a year from its secret partnership with Google.

Google benefits from the partnership in that the data it receives from Apple in exchange "is even more valuable to Google than data arising from Google search on Android products." This is due to the fact that Apple users' searches and search histories represent a dataset to which Google did not previously have access.

"The addition of a major competing source of users' data increases the touchpoints that Google receives concerning all users, reinforcing and supporting its market power over the total user base of all devices accessing the web," says MOW.

All that Apple data represents the "missing pieces" that Google needed to complete its "jigsaw puzzle" matrix of power and control over all things web-related. Google now has near-complete access and insight "into overall markets and their trends and developments."

Apple and Google also both have a "mutually reinforcing interest in stifling innovation and applications developments from being supplied over the Open Web," MOW reveals.

Another benefit to the relationship from Google's perspective is Apple's complicity in setting Google as the default search engine in its Safari browser, as well as on other search access points.

In the early days of iPhone, Google Maps was also the default map product on users' smartphones, however, that feature has long been replaced with Apple's proprietary map app.

The CMA has reportedly agreed to launch a probe into complaints against Apple that the tech giant is acting unfairly and anti-competitively. The regulatory body is also looking into concerns that Apple is abusing its dominant position over the distribution of apps on Apple devices.

"Apple controls the App Store, which is the only way for developers to distribute apps onto Apple's system and the only way for the public to access them," reports the Daily Mail Online.

"The CMA will seek to establish if Apple has acted unfairly and as a result meant users had less choice or have had to pay higher prices for apps and additional content."

More news stories about Google and Apple can be found at

Sources for this article include:

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