DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg was called to Washington recently to provide testimony in the ongoing antitrust lawsuit brought against Google by the US Department of Justice.
Weinberg discussed the failure of DuckDuckGo to win a large contract with a smartphone company that was allegedly influenced by Google’s deep pockets.
Google reportedly pays cell phone manufacturers like Apple and Samsung a total of $11 billion annually for Google to be the default search engine on the phone.
This makes it exceedingly difficult for smaller startup search engines like DuckDuckGo to compete with Google’s 90% market share.
This story gets to the heart of the antitrust lawsuit which alleges that Google uses its size and money to cut out competition and maintain its near monopoly on the search engine market.
DuckDuckGo is a relatively small search engine started in 2008 in Pennsylvania as a privacy-focused alternative to Google.
Much of Google’s value lies under the covers of its search engine which gathers and collates billions of data points on daily visitors.
In recent years, consumers have been much more aware of the security risks such data collection presents.
In Europe where privacy laws are much more strict than they are in the US, Google is facing multiple lawsuits about the use of their collected data.
DuckDuckGo does not collect any data on visitors to its search engine and this business strategy has begun to get noticed.
But despite that fact, DuckDuckGo has only managed to corner about 2% of the search market in the US because so many phone companies default their devices to Google which then makes this testimony a central part of the DOJ’s case.