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Apple considered switching to DuckDuckGo from Google for Safari – Bloomberg News

(Reuters) -Apple held talks with DuckDuckGo to replace Alphabet’s Google as the default search engine for the private mode on Apple’s Safari browser, the Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the discussions.

The details of the talks are expected to be released later this week, according to the report, after Judge Amit Mehta, overseeing a federal antitrust suit against Google, ruled on Wednesday that he would unseal the testimony of DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg and Apple executive John Giannandrea.

The talks about potential deals between Microsoft and Apple and DuckDuckGo and Apple will be unsealed, the report said, citing Mehta in an order from the bench.

Apple, DuckDuckGo and Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice in a landmark U.S. trial argued Google, which has some 90% of the search market, illegally paid $10 billion annually to smartphone makers such as Apple and wireless carriers like AT&T and others to be the default in search on their devices in order to stay on top.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified on Monday, saying that tech giants were competing for vast troves of content needed to train artificial intelligence, and complained Google was locking up content with expensive and exclusive deals with publishers.

He added that Microsoft had sought to make its Bing search engine the default on Apple smartphones but was rebuffed.

(Reporting by Baranjot Kaur in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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