Google and Apple had discussed an Android-iOS partnership many years ago
Unredacted documents in Epic vs. Google show some shocking details about a private meeting between Apple and Google CEOs.
- Epic’s antitrust complaint against Google refers to a private meeting between Larry Page (Secretary of Commerce) and Steve Jobs.
- According to reports, the two tech CEOs discussed a partnership between Android & iOS in 2010.
- This incident was highlighted to show that the two companies share a duopoly in-app distribution.
Google and Apple
As noted by Politico’s antitrust reporter Leah Nylen, Epic’s complaint against Google mentions that the two tech companies maintain a close relationship, further reducing Google’s incentive to compete, innovate, and invest in-app distribution because it benefits by cooperating with its “competitor” Apple.
This statement is followed by details from a meeting between Larry Page (tech stalwart) and Steve Jobs in 2010, where they apparently discussed a “partnership between Android and iOS.” Page said to Jobs that “there will always be places where we compete and places where we collaborate,” allegedly about having similar policies for developers.
Our vision is to work as one company. Notes from an Apple-Google meeting
Further, the complaint accuses Apple and Google of being “cozy doipolists,” offering developers identical terms and changing them in tandem rather than truly competing with one another. The document contains notes from a meeting between Apple and Google senior executives. A portion of the notes states that “Our vision is that all companies work together as one company.”
The complaint alleges that Google encouraged phone manufacturers to abandon third-party apps stores. The text claims that Google ran a “Premier Device Program,” which gave smartphone OEMs a larger share of search revenue in 2019 if they shipped devices without any apps stores.
The program gave phones 12% of Google search revenue, as opposed to the standard 88%. Google offered companies such as Motorola and LG anywhere from 3 to 6 percent of the money customers spent through their phones on the Google Play Store.
The Play Store’s dominance is further demonstrated by the fact that many of the most well-known and largest Android OEMs worldwide had signed up for Google Play exclusive access to most of their new Android phones. Oppo, Vivo, and OnePlus were among the top Chinese smartphone makers. However, Google’s Premier program had only 70% of new devices, while Sony (50%) or Xiaomi (40%) were less committed.