The National Post reports in its Saturday edition that lucrative, closed-door dealings between two of the world's most powerful tech companies are under scrutiny at the Google antitrust trial in Washington, as Apple executives prepare to take the stand. A Washington Post item inside the Post says that the pair of tech giants have been tight-lipped about the estimated $19-billion (U.S.) that Google pays Apple per year to ensure its search engine remains the default on iPhones and other Apple devices -- a deal that spans 18 years. Both companies have sought to keep details of the transactions out of the public eye, with filings in the case heavily redacted. Even so, the public parts of the case are shedding new insight into how a once-furious rivalry between Apple and Google over smart phones -- what Steve Jobs once declared "thermonuclear war" -- has mellowed into a peaceful partnership that many see as a duopoly. "Our vision is that we work as if we are one company," a senior Apple employee wrote a Google counterpart in a 2018 e-mail, cited in the U.S. Justice Department complaint. At issue is whether this agreement is monopolistic and shuts out Google's competition from convenient access to Apple's billions of users.
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