Apple Inc. held talks to replace Alphabet Inc.'s Google with DuckDuckGo as the default search engine for the private mode on Apple's Safari browser. The details of it are expected to be released later this week.
This comes after the judge overseeing a federal antitrust suit against Google ruled Wednesday that he would unseal the testimony of DuckDuckGo Chief Executive Officer Gabriel Weinberg and Apple executive John Giannandrea, Bloomberg reported.
Judge Amit Mehta initially let both executives testify about the negotiations in closed court. However, the judge ruled Wednesday that the testimony "goes to the heart of the case" and should be released.
Some testimony about similar discussions between Microsoft Corp. and Apple also had not been made public.
Mehta said he went thoroughly through the transcripts and will release the comments of the executives without trade secrets. Both Apple and Google requested the testimony to remain private.
The Justice Department alleges that Google paid billions of dollars to Apple and others to be the default search engine on web browsers and smartphones.
The deals made it difficult for search engines such as Microsoft’s Bing and DuckDuckGo to build up users and compete with Google, according to federal and state antitrust enforcers.
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified Monday about his company’s negotiations to persuade Apple to make Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine on Apple’s Safari browser rather than Google. Nadella said Microsoft was willing to lose billions of dollars if Apple made the switch.