Competition for Distribution, Search Engine Edition

Josh Wright —  12 March 2012

A recent report notes that while Apple may be shifting away from Google Maps, Google remains the default search engine in Safari, and thus, remains the default search on a variety of Apple devices.  Google competes vigorously for this right; indeed, competition among search engines drives the price paid to Apple for its ability to shift its users from one engine to another.

The chart below illustrates some analysis estimating Google generates $1.3 billion in revenue from toolbar searches on Apple devices of which over 75% goes to Apple.

This form of competition is a normal part of the competitive process, though as Geoff notes in his recent post (and in our joint work on the flaws in the antitrust case against Google), often misdiagnosed in competition settings.