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Google wants to cut its reliance on Apple for search revenue

Google pays Apple a cut of its revenue for searches made through the Safari browser

Facing a potential court ruling that would force Google to stop paying to be the iPhone’s default engine, the company is increasingly trying to lessen its dependence on Apple.

Previous reports on the Department of Justice’s antitrust case against Google have revealed that Apple could be out $20 billion annually, if the court finds in favor of the DOJ. But a new report concentrates on the potential damage to Google, and what the company is trying to do about it.

According to The Information, Apple’s cut represents 36% of the ad revenue Google gets from searches done through the iPhone’s Safari browser. The remaining 64% means Google gets approximately $56 billion from Safari on the iPhone, or around a quarter of all its search revenues.

Even before the DOJ filed suit accusing Google of antitrust practices over its iPhone deal, the company was trying to have fewer searches performed through Safari. It launched its own Google Chrome browser and has spent more than a decade trying to get iPhone users to switch to this.

Five years ago, a reported 25% of searches on iPhone were done through the Chrome or Google apps. Since then, the figure has risen to around 30%, but unspecified sources say this is a disappointment.

Lessening its dependence on Apple would also lesson the chances of the courts requiring the deal to end. But it would also put Google in a stronger position, the next time it is due to negotiate the deal with Apple.