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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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Americans shrug off Omicron, Axios-Ipsos poll finds — CDC director says number of U.S. Omicron cases "likely to rise."
  2. Vaccines: Omicron gives a shot to boosters — U.S. announces $400M for global COVID vaccine distribution — Vaccine mandates lose steam in the U.S. while Europe doubles down.
  3. States: Gov. Hochul will order some NY hospitals to halt elective surgeries — Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers.
  4. World: EU drug regulator backs mixing COVID vaccines — Poor global equity likely in COVID pill access — CDC raises travel advisories for France, Portugal to highest level amid COVID surge.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Mark Meadows will stop cooperating with Jan. 6 panel, attorney says

Photo: Chris Kleponis/Polaris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows will no longer cooperate with the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, his attorney told Fox News Tuesday.

Why it matters: Meadows, who failed to appear before the panel last month, is believed to have insight into former President Trump's role in efforts to stop the certification of President Biden's election win.

Updated 7 hours ago - Economy & Business

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.