Google has been shelling out billions of dollars to Samsung to ensure that its services, such as search, voice assistant, and app store, are the default options on Galaxy devices, a report by Bloomberg revealed.
The report, which cited court documents from Google’s ongoing trial against Epic Games, said that Google paid Samsung $8 billion in four years to make its services the preferred choice on Samsung’s mobile devices.
Samsung is the world’s largest maker of Android devices, with a 20% market share in the second quarter of 2023. The South Korean company also offers its own services and app store that compete with Google’s, such as Bixby, Samsung Pay, and Galaxy Store.
However, these deals are also attracting scrutiny from regulators and competitors, who accuse Google of abusing its power and harming consumers.
Aside from its legal battle with Epic Games, the search giant is also facing multiple antitrust lawsuits in the US, where the Department of Justice and several state attorneys general claim that Google has created a monopoly in the online search and advertising markets. The lawsuits allege that the company is using its payments to device makers and carriers to lock out competitors and favor its services.
In 2021, Google paid $26.3 billion to be the default search engine on mobile phones and web browsers. The company also paid $1.5 billion to Apple in 2019 to be the default search engine on its devices in the UK alone, Reuters reported.