Get the latest market trends in your inbox

Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with the Axios Markets newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Justice Department's antitrust lawsuit against Google filed last Tuesday could upend the company's unlikely partnership with its adversary Apple, one of the most lucrative business agreements in history, the New York Times reports.

By the numbers: Google pays Apple an estimated $8 billion–$12 billion annually for its search engine to be the default on Apple’s iPhone and other devices, according to the Times. It's likely Google's single largest annual outlay and accounts for 14%–21% of Apple’s yearly profit.

The bottom line: The end of the 15-year-old deal between two of the most valuable companies in tech "could mean the loss of easy money to Apple. But it would be a more significant threat to Google," the Times writes.

  • Google has no obvious alternative to replace the traffic it gets from iPhones, per the Times. Without the deal, Apple could be compelled to acquire or develop its own search engine.
  • Google has also feared that in the absence of a partnership, Apple will make it more difficult to access Google search on iPhones.

The backdrop: The DOJ argues in the suit, which is the government’s biggest antitrust case in two decades, that Google has "foreclosed competition for internet search" by securing its search engine as the default in web browsers and on mobile devices, including ones that run Google's own Android operating system.

  • Google has said its prominence in the search market is the result of the quality of its product, and the company has denied that it engages in anti-competitive tactics.
  • The company said it sees healthy competition in its major revenue-generating businesses, like advertising and mobile.

Go deeper: U.S. vs. Google — the siege begins

Go deeper

Ina Fried, author of Login
Nov 19, 2020 - Technology

Apple's App Store commissions tweaks leave critics wanting

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

While many developers will benefit from Apple's move Wednesday to cut commissions for companies earning less than $1 million per year in App Store revenue, the company's critics derided the move as a cynical attempt to distract from what they see as Apple's broader anticompetitive business practices.

Why it matters: Apple's move appears designed to appease concerns from critics and regulators, but it's unclear how far it will go to assuage them. Thus far, not very.

Trade commission's tech cases: Hits and misfires

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

With the Federal Trade Commission expected to unveil long-awaited antitrust action against Facebook in the near future, the agency's mixed record on regulating tech has experts viewing the case as a "put up or shut up" moment.

The big picture: Most of the tech cases the FTC has tackled involve consumer protection rather than restraining monopolistic behavior. Past antitrust investigations of tech mergers or companies, like a review of Google that ended in 2013, led critics to paint the FTC as toothless.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Nov 20, 2020 - Technology

Cloud gaming services use iPhone's web browser door

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

One of the biggest trends in gaming is the ability to play console games wherever you are, on whatever type of device, thanks to the magic of cloud streaming. The tricky part has been finding a way to bring such gaming to iOS — since Apple wants to review and approve each game as a separate app.

Yes, but: Google, Nvidia and Microsoft have decided to work around, rather than with, Apple's rules. In recent weeks, all three have announced plans to bring their game services to iOS via the web browser — the one big opening in the wall around Apple's garden.