March 27, Chicago, IL, USA; Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook makes an appearance at Chicago's Michigan Avenue Apple Store after an Apple's education-focused event at Lane Technical College Preparatory High School. Mandatory Credit: Rodney White-USA

Apple CEO Tim Cook (Photo credit: Rodney White-USA TODAY NETWORK)

Despite Past Criticism, Apple CEO Defends Deal With Google

November 19, 2018 - 4:19 pm

Apple CEO Tim Cook is defending the billions of dollars his company gets from Google, even though he has previously attacked big tech companies for hoarding users' personal data.

In a wide ranging interview on HBO's Axios program, Cook said there are several reasons Apple reached a reported $9-billion deal to make Google the default search engine on iPhones. 

"One, I think their search engine is the best, and that's very important," Cook said. "Two, look at what we've done with the controls we've built in."

Those controls protect iPhone users' privacy, Cook said. Last month, Cook didn't mention Google by name, but he attacked tech firms that hoard "industrial" amounts of personal data.  

Cook also said the free market hasn't worked for the tech industry and that future regulations are inevitable. 

"In some people's minds, they're like the oil companies of the 21st Century that need to be looked at and regulated to make sure what they're doing is in the public interest," said KCBS Radio Technology Analyst Larry Magid about the most dominant tech companies. 

Asked about the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley, Cook told Axios that "tech has missed it," especially when it comes to gender diversity.

"Tech, in general, has missed it," he said.  ​

Written by Brian Krans.