Illustration by Cath Virginia / The Verge
The US v. Google antitrust trial is about many things, but more than anything, it’s about the power of defaults. Even if it’s easy to switch browsers or platforms or search engines, the one that appears when you turn it on matters a lot. Google obviously agrees and has paid a staggering amount to make sure it is the default: testimony in the trial revealed that Google spent a total of $26.3 billion in 2021 to be the default search engine in multiple browsers, phones, and platforms.
That number, the sum total of all of Google’s search distribution deals, came out during the Justice Department’s cross-examination of Google’s search head, Prabhakar Raghavan. It was made public after a debate earlier in the week between the two sides and…
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