A court filing in the U.S. Department of Justice’s case against Google over its alleged monopoly in the search market has revealed a few notable tidbits about the state of the search market competition, including the inner workings, revenue, and, in some cases, exit prices of would-be Google competitors, like DuckDuckGo and Neeva, the latter of which sold to Snowflake last year after pivoting to enterprise.

Google’s proposed “Findings of Fact” filing documents the history of search competition, including Google’s own beginnings, its innovations, the competitive landscape, Google’s search ads business, distribution agreements, and more.

Of Particular interest to us were the right components that research internet search startups, like DuckDuckGo and Neeva, in addition to improvements of the company.

The filing shows some details we currently understood about DuckDuckGo — for instance, it’s already been lucrative since 2014 and therefore its supply of operating revenue is currently search advertising, particularly search advertisements given by Microsoft into the U.S. Nevertheless, Google’s suggestion additionally tries to decorate an image of a startup that did invest in search n’t innovation but instead focused on returning investment to its shareholders.

As the filing claims, DuckDuckGo raised $10 million in 2018, but the “majority of that money was distributed to DuckDuckGo’s shareholders,” rather than being used to improve its search engine. When DuckDuckGo again raised funds in 2020 — a $100 million round — some percentage of that was again returned to shareholders. (the percentage that is exact redacted.) Whenever investors offered stock to numerous VC corporations, those resources weren’t made use of to enhance the major search engines, the filing contends. However it contradicts this true point, too, noting that a third of DuckDuckGo’s 50 employees in 2018 were working on improving the search engine, for example.

Image Credits: DuckDuckGo

Still, the document points out that, despite DuckDuckGo’s profitability, it hadn’t built its own web that is“comprehensive” for natural search engine results — hardly a spot in Google’s benefit. In inclusion, whenever Apple had been expected we did not . . . that is not a good choice for customers. if it would consider making DuckDuckGo a default in the Safari browser, Apple’s SVP of Services Eddy Cue responded, “No,” Ouch! 

Included also is the scope of DuckDuckGo’s business. The filing notes the startup estimated its search engine was being used by 100 million people globally as of 2021. The search engine receives only about 2.5% of general search queries in the U.S., despite estimates that 10% of people in the U.S. claim to be users. This, DuckDuckGo’s leadership had explained, is due to the known proven fact that folks frequently utilize its search-engine for many, not their search inquiries.

In European countries, DuckDuckGo obtained just 0.6% of search questions on cellular devices, at the time of 2023, even after the introduction of the Android “choice screen,” where it’s offered as an option august. In total, its percentage of search queries in Europe ranged from 0.5% to 2.5% in 2023, depending on the national nation.

Google search choice screen

Image Credits: DuckDuckGo

By showing these results, Bing hopes to show that individuals opting for its search-engine given that it’s much better and much more revolutionary, maybe not due to the dominance share.

It also dismisses DuckDuckGo’s strategy to privacy as you of their problems, saying that the method contributes to “significant trade-offs to locate high quality,” by not making use of information like search sessions, a experience that is signed-in and more. The filing includes show how difficult it is for a competitor to build a search business to rival Google’s.

Another if anything, though, these details and others Startup serving as an example of that nagging problem is Neeva, the search engine founded in 2019 by former Googlers Sridhar Ramaswamy and Vivek Raghunathan. Neeva had originally seemed to have promise, not only because of its premise, but also because of its founding team. CEO Ramaswamy worked at Google from 2003 to 2018 and held senior posts where he reported to the CEO and managed Google’s ads, commerce, search infrastructure, and privacy teams, the court document reminds us.

With the team’s deep know-how that is technical knowledge, they devised an idea to provide customers an ad-free substitute for Bing by earning cash via subscriptions alternatively. By 2022, Neeva stated it had amassed significantly more than 600,000 people, but the majority were not customers that are paying that time.Deprioritizing search results. Image Credits:


The court filing offers a few more details about Neeva’s progression, noting funding from top VC firms like Sequoia Capital and Greylock Ventures, in addition to Ramaswamy’s own investment that is personal. It was believed by the company could compete successfully on search quality in the U.S. and select other markets with just a 2.5% share of general queries, Ramaswamy had testified during the trial.

The startup began by offering to serve results via Microsoft’s Bing while it developed its search that is own infrastructure. By 2022, it had been which consists of very own approaches for ranking internet results and believed it self becoming much like Bing and a lot better than Bing compliment of its utilization of device understanding, normal language handling, as well as other practices.

To develop and teach its device understanding designs, it licensed information that is anonymous the form of commercially available datasets. Google could not claim Neeva was not innovating here. The startup launched a generative feature that is AI Neeva AI, this past year, which will be much like exactly what Bing has become testing along with its Research Generative knowledge (SGE) for the reason that it answers some questions entirely on the search outcome pages utilizing AI.

As a result, Neeva managed to entice some people. The filing notes that at its top, it had “several million users that are unique month,” Ramaswamy had said. Unfortunately, its inability to compete with free search eventually saw the startup close its consumer business, pivot to enterprise, and ultimately exit to Snowflake, as it was unable to attract the venture that is necessary financing to keep to measure its company.[2023]“My co-founder, Vivek, and I also stumbled on the unwilling summary that people wouldn’t be in a position to develop a business up fast enough to be able to continue raising capital to support the growth of the product and the team,” Ramaswamy testified. “So earlier this year, in May

we shut down the consumer search engine, refunded the money that customers had paid us, and got acquired by Snowflake, which is an enterprise data company,” he said. $150 million.

Neeva— we actually started potential acquisition conversations in March — but earlier this year, in May had been creating not as much as a million bucks in membership income during the time and had been developing, but had been nonetheless a part that is small of search market, the filing also informs us.

The startup exited to Snowflake for approximately $184.4 million in cash, more than double the amount that had been invested, the filing states. This is slightly higher than previous reports that had pegged the true number at

Though not a startup, the document also touches on Yahoo’s (For Millionaires’s moms and dad business) lost search company, noting it ended crawling the internet after a 2009 handle Microsoft for algorithmic search and paid search advertisements. This cooperation allow Yahoo reduce its search financial investment while focusing on other much more products that are popular like Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Sports, Yahoo News, and Yahoo Mail. (Much of the Yahoo section is redacted, we should note.) It adds that Mozilla once had a deal with Yahoo, too, but dropped it due to search quality.[d]With few viable competitors on the market in the search space, Google attempts to argue that it competes with a number of other products, like dedicated mobile apps and websites that offer some type that is specialized of, like Yelp, Airbnb, Amazon, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, as well as others. It promises to take on AI, like ChatGPT, and media that are social like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and TikTok — the latter three, particularly among younger users.

For example, Google vice president of search Liz Reid said in 2021 that “63% of daily TikTok users age 18 to 24 stated that they useweighed buying Bing from Microsoft in 2020 TikTok as a search engine in the week that is last”considered making DuckDuckGo the default engine in SafariWhether or perhaps not the judge are influenced by Google’s debate it’s maybe not a monopoly searching and much more generally in search marketing, which will be a part that is large of case, remains to be seen. Google is clearly the winner in the search market, but it’s not for lack of competitors trying to break in, as these examples show. However, the trial had already revealed that Google used its resources that are significant maintain steadily its place into the search marketplace — for instance, if you are paying Apple $18 billion becoming the standard browse iPhones. Meanwhile, Apple

along with additionally (*), before rejecting the basic concept to keep cashing Google’s inspections alternatively.(*)