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Political Information Last Updated: Aug 3, 2020 - 7:59:39 PM

How Google’s Monopoly Power Took Over Mobile Search Traffic – Even on Apple iPhones
By Allum Bokhari
Aug 3, 2020 - 7:56:56 PM

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Leon Neal/Getty Images

Last week, Breitbart News revealed that Google Search is interfering in the election, purging links to conservative websites from its search results, including a complete purge of Breitbart News links from searches related to Joe Biden. The blacklisting of conservatives sources becomes even more serious in light of Google's status as the default search engine on every smartphone in America - a monopoly on searches that Google pays Apple $1.5 billion to maintain.

Google's purge of Breitbart News and other conservative sites is likely to have an enormous impact on undecided voters, because for most people using the internet, Google is effectively the only search engine that exists. A small minority of web users use competitors like Bing, Yahoo!, and DuckDuckGo, but this is negligible - in 2020, Google processed a whopping 91 percent of all internet searches.

This is in no small part due to Google's anti-competitive practices in the smartphone market. In addition to its own Android phones, where every service is switched to Google by default, the search engine has also wormed its way into Apple iPhones.

Thanks to its vast revenues, Google is able to pay Apple billions of dollars (it was $1.5 billion last year alone) to be the default search engine on Safari, Apple's web browser that serves as the default option for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users.

This gives Google a breathtaking level of market dominance on search in the smartphone market.

While there used to be many smartphone operating systems, including Blackberry OS and even a version of Windows for phones, in recent years the market has become concentrated in the hands of just two companies: Apple and Google. And when the latter pays the former to do its bidding, it arguably dwindles to just one in some regards.

Between the two Silicon Valley giants, Apple and Google control over 99 percent of the worldwide smartphone operating systems market. Check your own phone - if you bought it in the past five years, it is almost certainly running Google's Android OS or Apple's iOS. There is simply nothing else.

This Apple-Google duopoly means that the two companies can decide to exclude whatever competing platform they choose from the smartphone app marketplace. Free speech-friendly social network Gab was a prominent victim of this, getting banned from both Google and Apple's app stores over "hate speech."

It also means that Google, through its billion-dollar payoffs to Apple, gets to be the default search engine on 99 percent of the world's smartphones.

If you're technically savvy, you might be able to switch the default browser to DuckDuckGo or some other competitors. But how many people do that ? Crucially, how many undecided voters, those most vulnerable to be being unwittingly manipulated by Google, do that ?

The answer is, almost none. This means that, as we enter the final stretch of the 2020 election season, voters searching for information about Joe Biden and the 2020 election on their smartphone browsers are going to be met with a cascade of anti-Trump, pro-Biden propaganda from the mainstream media.

This could have a huge impact on voters' decision-making come election day. Psychologist and search engine expert Dr. Robert Epstein, who has closely followed Google's growing political bias, recently told Breitbart News's Alex Marlow that Google is likely to shift ten percent of voters away from Trump to fulfill its executives' stated goal of avoiding a repeat of 2016.

This top-down interference in the democratic election, from a tech giant with unprecedented control over the information Americans receive, subject to zero public oversight, is going to raise far greater questions about the integrity of the 2020 election than "Russian interference" ever did in 2016.

Are you an insider at Google, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tech company who wants to confidentially reveal wrongdoing or political bias at your company? Reach out to Allum Bokhari at his secure email address

Allum Bokhari is the senior technology correspondent at Breitbart News. His book #DELETED: Big Tech's Battle to Erase the Trump Movement and Steal The Election is out in September.

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