As you know, right now one of the most important trials of the decade is taking place, one that pits Epic Games (creators of Fortnite) against Google. The former accuses the latter of having a monopoly in the mobile market.
The positive aspect of this trial is that a lot of interesting information about Google’s business practices to secure the top spot in the smartphone industry is coming to light. For instance, we know how much Google pays Apple to be its default search engine.
According to the testimony presented by Epic Games, Samsung received a payment of 8 billion dollars over a four-year period just for Search, Assistant, and Play Store to be the default services on all their devices.
Mastering the market through dollars: Google’s strategy
James Kolotourous, Google’s Vice President of Partnerships, discussed how the company struck deals with various Android OEMs to ensure their devices were preloaded with the Play Store.
The testimony even revealed that Samsung devices account for half or more of all Play Store devices, which makes sense given Samsung’s position as the largest Android OEM in the market.
Back in 2019, Google even initiated a project called “Project Banyan,” under which the company invested money to ensure the Play Store remained on all Samsung devices, sharing space with the Galaxy Store.
Google offered up to 200 million dollars annually for four years to Samsung to have the Galaxy Store available within the Play Store, featuring its own billing system.
Another internal document reveals how Google managed to save 1 billion dollars over four years. This was done by reversing a request that would have allowed the Play Store to be the only digital storefront displayed on Samsung devices’ home screens. This agreement never came to fruition.
The significance of this discovery is that Epic is trying to showcase how Google has discouraged third-party app stores on Android by paying these manufacturers hefty fees just so that the Play Store can be the default store that everyone uses.