Google’s Pichai Decried Bad ‘Optics’ Of Search Engine Deal With Apple

by Business 11 October 2023

Google's Pichai Decried Bad Optics Of Search Engine Deal With Apple

“I know we are insisting on default, but at the same time I think we should encourage them to have Yahoo as a choice in the pull-down or some other easy option,” Pichai mentioned.

Sundar Pichai has raised his concerns years prior to becoming Google’s Chief Executive Officer on the deal the company signed with Apple Inc., stating that it had terrible “optics” as there was no option of which search engine should be used in the web browser of the company.

The emails written by Pichai back in 2007 to the co-founders of Google, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin, were put forward as evidence during the antitrust case against Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which is under progress in the Justice Department in Washington.

Pichai wrote these emails when he was in charge of the Chrome Browser of Google. The emails have shown concern about the agreement of Google with Apple in exchange for remaining the default search option on the Safari browser.

“I know we are insisting on default, but at the same time I think we should encourage them to have Yahoo as a choice in the pull down or some other easy option,” Pichai wrote about the agreement, which is at the core of the government’s case. “I don’t think it is a good user experience nor the optics is great for us to be the only provider in the browser.”

The Department of Justice has said that Google pays more than approximately $10 billion each year for agreements to keep the competitor search engines from getting users; however, these figures stay confidential. Google has denied harming any competition through these agreements and says that it is easy for customers to switch to multiple alternatives if they wish to.

Joan Braddi, the Vice President for product partnerships at Google and the core negotiator of the Apple agreement, was one among the executives who were copied on the said emails. “I don’t know that we’ve ever looked at it that way. The agreement between Google and Apple places no limits on how the iPhone maker uses the money.” She also added that Apple has made use of payments to enhance its iOS products that give tough competition to the Android Operating System of Google.

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