Bloomberg News, citing relevant sources, reports that Apple has previously negotiated with DuckDuckGo, a search provider that prides itself on user privacy. Apple had plans to incorporate DuckDuckGo as the default search engine for the Private mode in Safari.
However, these negotiations were unsuccessful, and Apple ended up choosing Google Search as the default search engine going forward. These details were disclosed as part of the investigation in the antitrust case filed by the United States Department of Justice against Google, regarding search engine exclusivity. The information came from high-ranking executives from both DuckDuckGo and Apple. Although this information is classified as confidential due to its business implications, it is possible that a judge may order its disclosure in the interest of the case’s examination.
Representatives from Apple and DuckDuckGo have not yet commented on this report.
The issue of Google paying a substantial amount of money to Apple annually to be the default search engine in Safari has become a crucial element in the antitrust investigation. Previously, Eddy Cue, an Apple executive, acknowledged that Google is the best and sole viable option, while Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, stated that this deal demonstrates a straightforward and easily understandable semi-exclusive business arrangement.
TLDR: Apple’s negotiations with DuckDuckGo to make it the default search engine for the Private mode in Safari did not succeed, leading Apple to stick with Google Search. These details were brought to light as part of an antitrust case against Google. The issue of Google paying Apple to be the default search engine in Safari is at the center of the investigation. Representatives from Apple and DuckDuckGo have not yet commented.