During the Justice Department’s antitrust trial, a high-ranking Alphabet executive revealed that Google disbursed a substantial $26.3 billion in 2021 to secure its search engine as the default option on web browsers and mobile devices, as reported by Bloomberg News. The individual responsible for both search and advertising, Prabhakar Raghavan, noted that the amount of these payments for default status has surged, more than tripling since 2014.

Google’s earnings from search advertising reached $146.4 billion in 2021, with Raghavan emphasizing that payments for the default setting constituted the largest cost for the company, according to the Bloomberg report.

Google has contended that its revenue-sharing arrangements adhere to legal standards and that it has made substantial investments to maintain competitiveness in its search and advertising sectors. Furthermore, the company has asserted that dissatisfied users have the option to switch to alternative search providers if they find fault with the default settings.

Initially, Google opposed disclosing these figures, citing potential harm to its future contract negotiations. However, Judge Amit Mehta, presiding over the case, decreed that the numbers should be made public, as outlined in the report.

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