US analyst Toni Sacconaghi has proposed that Apple should get its hands on DuckDuckGo, the search engine that's become a popular alternative to Google among users keen to protect their privacy.

According to Sacconaghi, Street Insider reports, acquiring DuckDuckGo would cost less than a billion dollars, equivalent to about a week's revenue for Apple. Then the company would be free to snatch a chunk of Google's advertising revenue and earn the big bucks.

We should bear in mind, however, that Apple currently receives between $7bn and $10bn a year in compensation for Google's search engine being the default option in iOS - revenue that would disappear overnight if the proposal becomes a reality. In other words, this acquisition is far from the no-brainer that Sacconaghi seems to believe it.

Apple is active in acquiring companies it finds interesting, but with a small number of exceptions - such as Beats and Shazam - the targets tend not to be as highly visible as DuckDuckGo. Back in April it bought the machine learning company Inductiv, a seemingly niche acquisition aimed at improving the development of Siri.

This article originally appeared on MacWorld Sweden. Translation by David Price.