Binding of the talin-1 FERM (4.1/ezrin/radixin/moesin) domain to the β3 cytosolic tail causes activation of the integrin αIIbβ3. The FERM domain also binds to acidic phospholipids. Although much is known about the interaction of talin-1 with integrins and lipids, the relative contribution of each interaction to integrin regulation and possible synergy between them remain to be clarified. Here, we examined the thermodynamic interplay between FERM domain binding to phospholipid bilayers and to its binding sites in the β3 tail. We found that although both the F0F1 and F2F3 subdomains of the talin-1 FERM domain bind acidic bilayers, the full-length FERM domain binds with an affinity similar to F2F3, indicating that F0F1 contributes little to the overall interaction. When free in solution, the β3 tail has weak affinity for the FERM domain. However, appending the tail to acidic phospholipids increased its affinity for the FERM domain by three orders of magnitude. Nonetheless, the affinity of the FERM for the appended tail was similar to its affinity for binding to bilayers alone. Thus, talin-1 binding to the β3 tail is a ternary interaction dominated by a favorable surface interaction with phospholipid bilayers and set by lipid composition. Nonetheless, interactions between the FERM domain, the β3 tail, and lipid bilayers are not optimized for a high-affinity synergistic interaction, even at the membrane surface. Instead, the interactions appear to be tuned in such a way that the equilibrium between inactive and active integrin conformations can be readily regulated.