Eddy Cue, the head of Apple’s Services division, has testified in court as a key witness in the United States Department of Justice’s case against Google regarding antitrust violations. Apple is considered a crucial witness because Google pays them billions of dollars annually to be the default search engine on iPhones, iPads, and Macs.
The Justice Department’s lawyer asked Cue about the final negotiations between Apple and Google in 2016 regarding their mutual benefits. Cue responded by saying that he always believed both parties wanted the best outcome, but this issue goes beyond just monetary gains. Other options were either switching to other search engines or creating their own, but back then, Apple didn’t really consider these alternatives as they had limited choices other than Google.
Cue further reinforced that Google was chosen as the default search engine because it was the best. However, at the same time, Apple made it easy for users to change their default search engine. The lawyer then inquired why the process of selecting the default search engine was not involved during the initial setup of a new device. Cue explained that the setup process was designed to be fast and efficient, focusing on what really mattered. Selecting the default search engine was not considered crucial, and users could change it later, although the Justice Department’s attorney noted that the process for changing this setting was somewhat complicated (Settings > Safari > Search Engine).
When asked about Apple’s promotion of privacy while using Google as the search engine that collects user data, Cue stated that Apple provides a warning message and users have the option to use Google without logging in. Additionally, Safari already has privacy measures in place.
Before concluding, there was a small incident where Cue jokingly suggested that the computer screen on which the court proceedings were displayed should be changed to a Mac as the image appeared unclear. This drew laughter in the courtroom, and before the judge could respond, Cue added that if Apple were to donate… it would make the laughter in the courtroom even louder. This humorous interlude preceded the deliberation process.
TLDR: Eddy Cue, Apple’s head of Services, testified in court as a crucial witness in the Justice Department’s case against Google. Apple’s reliance on Google’s payments to be the default search engine on their devices was discussed. Cue explained that while Google was the best choice, Apple made it easy for users to change their default search engine. The privacy concerns and a light-hearted moment regarding screen clarity were also highlighted.