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Google Businesses The Almighty Buck

Google Paid $7.2 Billion Last Year To Partners, Including Apple, To Prominently Showcase Its Search Engine and Apps on Smartphones (bloomberg.com) 57

A reader shares a Bloomberg report: There's a $19 billion black box inside Google. That's the yearly amount Google pays to companies that help generate its advertising sales, from the websites lined with Google-served ads to Apple and others that plant Google's search box or apps in prominent spots. Investors are obsessed with this money, called traffic acquisition costs, and they're particularly worried about the growing slice of those payments going to Apple and Google's Android allies. That chunk of fees now amounts to 11 percent of revenue for Google's internet properties. The figure was 7 percent in 2012. These Google traffic fees are the result of contractual arrangements parent company Alphabet makes to ensure its dominance. The company pays Apple to make Google the built-in option for web searches on Apple's Safari browsers for Mac computers, iPhones and other places. Google also pays companies that make Android smartphones and the phone companies that sell those phones to make sure its search box is front and center and to ensure its apps such as YouTube and Chrome are included in smartphones. In the last year, Google has paid these partners $7.2 billion, more than three times the comparable cost in 2012.

Google Paid $7.2 Billion Last Year To Partners, Including Apple, To Prominently Showcase Its Search Engine and Apps on Smartphon

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  • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @11:34AM (#55343211)

    ... and very informative, but not earth-shattering.

    Sounds like a good business model for all concerned, except Google competitors.

    Those companies could pony up if they think there's a decent ROI.

  • I have a search box [google.com] on my site that adds filetype:torrent to each search and I use it all the time. So where is my billion?

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @11:48AM (#55343297)
    More money flowing out of Google (which receives advertiser revenue) and into device/content providers (the ones that actually provide the things we want). I can understand how Google investors are getting worried about tightening profit margins, but how is this not a high-five for consumers?
    • As a phone purchaser, I'd rather that the vendor provided the best mail app, the best calendar app, the best search engine, and so on, rather than the one where the provider paid them the most money.
      • by Isaac-Lew ( 623 )
        Who defines what the best app is for a given category? for example, I have 4 mail apps on my phone (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail and an app for my other IMAP accounts). No single mail app is suitable for my needs, so I use different apps depending on the situation.
      • I'd rather that the vendor provided the best mail app, the best calendar app, the best search engine, and so on, rather than the one where the provider paid them the most money.

        Really? And who decides what is best? What criteria do they use? The best app is the one YOU think is the best. The only way for you to know that is to try them all. This doesn't have to be like religion where you pick the one in the country you were born in!

        • Really? And who decides what is best? What criteria do they use?

          The manufacturer chooses, and reviewers then compare them and customers try multiple ones. If all Android phones ship with the same Google apps, then this isn't a point of differentiation. If all of them converged on Google apps because that was what the majority of customers wanted, then that would be one thing, but if they all converge on Google apps because Google pays them then that's very different.

  • by JohnFen ( 1641097 ) on Tuesday October 10, 2017 @12:02PM (#55343401)

    The more money Google spends on this sort of thing, the less they'll have available to spend on doing their evil stuff.

  • I don't mind much they being the default since you can change it easily but what I'd really like is being able to uninstall everything Google from my Android smartphone. Yes, I know it sounds a bit strange since pushing Google's services is the only reason of Android's existence but I wouldn't mind paying for a license (like you do with Windows on a PC)
    • It doesn't sound strange at all -- I do exactly this.

      If your phone has an unlocked bootloader, or has a crack available to unlock the bootloader, you can achieve what you want by installing one of the many 3rd party Android ROMs. None of those come with Google Apps -- you have to download and install them as a separate step, so it's entirely optional.

      As a bonus, doing so means that you're no longer dependent on your carrier to push updates to you.

      There are some apps that won't run if you don't have Google A

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