– Google paid Samsung $8Bn to make its apps default on Galaxy phones through ad revenue sharing.
– This is why Google Assistant takes on Bixby and Google Play Store takes on Galaxy Store.
– These revelation comes from James Kolotouros, a top Google Executive, who tagged this as a part of ‘Project Banyan’ that ensures Google dominates over Android ecosystem.
A few days ago, we found out Google shares its advertisement revenue obtained from Google Search with smartphone makers to maintain their smartphones and release more software updates. Turns out Google also pays brands for making its suite of apps default on their Android devices such as Samsung.
A report by Bloomberg said the search engine giant Google paid $8 billion over four years to make Google apps default on Galaxy smartphones and tablets. The apps included Google Assistant as a default voice assistant, Google Play Store for apps, and Google Search for internet search. This undermines the impact Galaxy Store and Bixby could’ve on Galaxy devices as they would take a backseat due to this paid arrangement.
The information came from James Kolotouros, VP for Partnerships at Google during an ongoing antitrust trial filed against Google alleging the latter to pay Android brands to make its apps on the home screen. The revelation came during a high time when Epic Games Inc. filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in San Francisco. It is reported that Google is stopping Android OEMs from bringing competing services on Android-powered devices. It has partnered with Microsoft to make Bing a default search engine across Galaxy devices.
All this is a part of Project Banyan where Google is trying to maintain its dominance in the Android market. Samsung accounts for more than half of ad revenue coming from Google Play Store over the years. Engaging OEMs to use Google services ensures the latter stays dominant in the Android ecosystem while the competitors are earlier squashed completely or sidelined or dialed down in terms of development such as in the case of Samsung Messages and Bixby.
It’s certainly not the first time a major player has been attributed to using unfair practices to maintain dominance. Apple too has used tactics such as giving preferences to its services rather than competitors such as in the case of Apple Music vs Spotify.