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Private search engine DuckDuckGo could have been the default for private browsing in Safari, but negotiations allegedly fell apart due to Google's powerful influence.
The Department of Justice is investigating Google for antitrust practices and abuse of power. Several potential deals have come to light, such as Microsoft's proposals for Apple to move to Bing or even buy it outright, but they all fell through, supposedly due to financial incentives from Google.
Apple has entered into talks with private search engine DuckDuckGo to make it the default private browsing mode in Safari, according to a Bloomberg report based on anonymous sources. Evidence in this regard may soon be revealed if Judge Amit Mehta has his way.
DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg and Apple Senior Vice President of ML John Giannandrea provided testimony about Apple's closed-door discussions with the search company. However, Judge Mehta ruled that the testimony “goes to the heart of the matter” and must be disclosed without trade secrets.
Apple and Google have entered into an agreement that makes Google the default search engine on the iPhone and other Apple products. It also stipulates that Apple cannot create a competitor to Google or display alternative search engines when setting up a device.
This deal between Google and Apple is at the heart of the US Department of Justice's antitrust investigation into Google. The trial is far from over and could have implications for both Google and Apple's business, depending on the final decision.