A few days ago, it came out that Google shares money it makes from ads on Google Search with phone brands. This is to encourage them to provide more updates and take better care of their phones. Now, we’ve learned that Google also gives money to brands, like Samsung, to have some apps automatically set as the main apps on Android devices.
In 2020, as part of three agreements, Before that, Google suggested a plan but later dropped it. This plan aimed to stop Samsung from putting the Galaxy Store on the main screens of their devices. Google argues that this move was meant to enhance the Android experience to compete with Apple and attract people thinking of switching to iPhones.
Moreover, In the past month it was revealed that Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year to run its search engine in Safari on Macs, iPads and iPhones.
Google’s $8 Billion Deal with Samsung
According to a report from Bloomberg, Google paid Samsung $8 billion over four years to have some of its apps set as the default on Galaxy phones and tablets. Google wanted Google Assistant, Google Play Store, and Google Search to be the main voice assistant, app store, and search engine on these devices. James Kolotouros, Vice President for Partnerships at Google, said in an antitrust trial that Google pays phone makers to keep its apps on the main screen.
The Google executive spoke during questioning by a lawyer chosen by Epic Games Inc. in San Francisco. Google made a plan to prevent Android phone makers from introducing competing services to Android smartphones.
For instance, Samsung has its own voice assistant (Bixby) and app store (Galaxy Store). Samsung also works with Apple, Meta (Facebook) and Microsoft, and Bing could have been the main search engine on Galaxy phones and tablets. If non-Google apps become the defaults on Samsung devices, it will weaken Google’s control over the Android system.
James Kolotouros also shared that Samsung made up more than half of the revenue from the Google Play Store. It restricts competition by preventing other app stores from spreading in the Android system. This explains why Samsung reduced the development of some of its own apps, including Bixby, Play Store, and Samsung Messages.
Google recently shared that it gives money to phone brands to encourage them to take good care of their devices. Now we know Google also pays brands, like Samsung, to make some apps default on Android devices. The details, including an $8 billion deal with Samsung, were revealed in an antitrust trial. This sheds light on Google’s strategy to control the Android system and influence app development.