Recent revelations from the antitrust lawsuit between the US Department of Justice and Google suggest that Google allegedly hindered both Apple and Samsung from incorporating alternative search engines into their smartphones. According to insider information, Google is purportedly paying several billion dollars to secure its position as the default search engine on iPhone and Galaxy smartphones.
These claims stem from Patrick Chang, a former executive at Samsung’s Venture Capital unit, Samsung Next. Chang, responsible for identifying promising companies for Samsung to invest in, discussed integrating an app called Branch into Samsung Galaxy mobile phones. Branch is designed to search within apps to provide answers instead of relying on web searches.
Alexander Austin, Branch Metrics’ founder and former CEO, stated that his company had to compromise some of its software features to meet Google’s demands for agreements with carriers and smartphone manufacturers. Allegedly, Branch had to limit its searches to within apps and avoid web-based searches.
Chang from Samsung Next also testified that Google, along with AT&T and other carriers, prevented Samsung from using the Branch app, claiming a portion of Samsung’s annual payments in the process.
The Department of Justice accused Google of annually paying $10 billion in revenue share to secure its position as the default search engine on Samsung and Apple phones. Nevertheless, other reports suggest that Samsung had its own reasons for not adopting the Branch Search app.