Wireless carriers balked at allowing Samsung Electronics Co to load its Galaxy S10 device with an app search capability that Google lacked, due to potential conflicts over their contracts with Google, a former Samsung investment adviser said at the search giant’s antitrust trial.
“The carriers had concerns it cannibalised their existing search revenues,” said Patrick Chang, a former director at Samsung Next Ventures, a US-based venture capital arm of the South Korean electronics company.
Samsung Venture officials considered the across-apps search function devised by Branch Metrics to offer “a huge potential opportunity” because Google at the time couldn’t do that, Chang said.
Founded in 2013, Branch Metrics raised $650 million from New Enterprise Associates Inc, Samsung Next Fund and other venture capital investors to build a search engine for mobile apps.
Alex Austin, a Branch Metrics co-founder, earlier told the court that Samsung restricted some functionality because of concerns about its contract with Google. The product was only allowed to search 25 apps and hid results from any apps not already installed on the phone, Austin said.
“Google is clearly buying its way to squelch competitors,” David Eun, who was president of Samsung Next at the time, said in a 2020 email to Chang.