Google spent $26.3 billion in 2021 to ensure search engine dominance over Bing

Google logo
Google is using its pocketbook to make sure no other search engines stand a chance. (Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • The US v. Google antitrust trial is now in full swing
  • As part of the trial, it was made known that in 2021, Google paid $26.3 billion to be the default search app. 
  • This included being the default app in Safari, Firefox, and on Samsung devices. 

With much of the world looking at the US v. Google antitrust trial in hopes that it can assist in breaking up the duopoly that Apple and Google currently hold over the mobile phone sector and Google's monopoly over search, some interesting facts are coming out of the trial. This information came out due to the Justice Department’s examination of Prabhakar Raghavan, the head of Google Search. 

In 2021, Google spent $26.3 billion in what I see as an anti-competitive and monopolistic move to guarantee that it remains the number 1 search engine and that no other search engine, such as Microsoft's Bing, has a chance to compete. They paid Firefox, Samsung, and several other browsers, phones, and platforms part of this money to be the default search engine.  

Per the NYTimes, $18 billion of the total $26.3 billion was paid to Apple to make Google the default search engine in Safari. 

Is Google anti-competitive?

The responsibility to answer this question belongs to the US Justice Department. Still, it seems the lawyers for the Justice Department are arguing that this amount of spending, which any smaller competitors can't match, is an unfair market-leader move that makes the search engine sector less competitive. I, for one, would have to agree with the Justice Department on this.

Coming off the heels of the very public FTC v. Microsoft/ABK merger trial, it seems we are all now armchair experts on monopolies and what should and shouldn't be considered unfair and anti-competitive in a market sector. As such a self-proclaimed expert, this seems like a blatant abuse of Google's market position to use its power and roughly 30% of its yearly profit to secure itself as the default search engine on nearly every popular consumer device. 

What is the future of the Google Search Monopoly?

I personally hope that this case, as well as other regulatory actions being taken against Apple, will crack open the mobile phone market and allow more app stores, as well as allow 3rd party phone manufacturers to have fair and open access to Google's applications like Google Maps and YouTube. If this happens, Microsoft's future app store will have a great chance of succeeding.

Do you think Google paying $26.3 billion to be the default search engine is anti-competitive? Would you want the Google search engine monopoly to end? Let us know in the comments.

Colton Stradling

Colton is a seasoned cybersecurity professional that wants to share his love of technology with the Windows Central audience. When he isn’t assisting in defending companies from the newest zero-days or sharing his thoughts through his articles, he loves to spend time with his family and play video games on PC and Xbox. Colton focuses on buying guides, PCs, and devices and is always happy to have a conversation about emerging tech and gaming news.