Google is in the middle of one of its many battles with EU antitrust regulators—this time it’s hoping to overturn the record $5 billion fine the European Commission levied against it in 2018. The fine was for unfairly pushing Google search on phones running Android software, and Google’s appeal argument is that search bundling isn’t the reason it is dominating the search market—Google Search is just so darn good.
Bloomberg reports on Google’s latest line of arguments, with Alphabet lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid telling the court, “People use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to. Google’s market share in general search is consistent with consumer surveys showing that 95% of users prefer Google to rival search engines.”
Lamadrid then went on to drop an incredible burn on the #2 search engine, Microsoft’s Bing: “We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is, by far, ‘Google.'”
Worldwide, Statcounter has Google’s search engine marketshare at 92 percent, while Bing is a distant, distant second at 2.48 percent. Bing is the default search engine on most Microsoft products, like the Edge browser and Windows, so quite a few people end up there as the path of least resistance. Despite being the default, Google argues that people can’t leave Bing fast enough and that they do a navigational query for “Google” to break free of Microsoft’s ecosystem.
Google’s argument that defaults don’t matter runs counter to the company’s other operations. Google pays Apple billions of dollars every year to remain the default search on iOS, which is an awfully generous thing to do if search defaults don’t matter. Current estimates put Google’s payments to Apple at $15 billion per year. Google also pays around $400 million a year to Chrome rival Mozilla to remain the default search on Firefox.