Verizon Exec Testifies Google’s Browser is Always Pre-Installed on Mobile Phones
According to a Verizon executive, Google’s Chrome browser is always pre-installed on its mobile phones. This has been a widely reported practice for years, but Verizon’s testimony has shed new light on the subject, reported Reuters. On top of making pre-installations, Google is also making $10 billion annually in payments to mobile carriers and other parties.
Google pressed Android smartphone makers to have Google as the default search engine and other apps pre-installed on their machines. Brian Higgins, Verizon’s VP Corporate Development, noted: “To the best of my knowledge, I believe it is pre-installed all the time.”
It is no secret that users tend to stick with Google’s search engine when it is pre-installed on their devices. James Kolotouros, Google’s Director of Mobile Commerce, noted: “People are likely to stick with defaults like search engines or map apps on computers and mobile phones.” Google lawyer John Schmidtlein also commented: “Users happily stick with Google’s search engine when pre-installed on their devices.”
The subject of Google and its pre-installed applications has been a contentious one. Some critics believe that Google’s pre-installation practice is unfair to rival search engines, while others defend the company’s moves as necessary to ensure user convenience.
Google is currently facing legal scrutiny over allegations of employing unethical strategies to maintain its position as the world’s dominant search engine, reported Reuters.
According to the U.S. Justice Department, Google, which commands a staggering 90% share of the search market, is accused of making substantial payments to companies such as Apple in exchange for becoming the default search engine on popular products like the iPhone.
The DOJ contends that these multi-billion dollar agreements provided Google with an unjust edge, effectively creating an insurmountable barrier for competing companies.