Home / / Google pays rival Apple $1bn

Google pays rival Apple $1bn

Court hearing discloses Google’s paid request for pre-installed web browser on Apple devices

Google’s revenue-sharing agreement with Apple has been revealed by Oracle
Google’s revenue-sharing agreement with Apple has been revealed by Oracle

Search engine giant Google paid Apple $1bn to keep its search engine bar as the default for mobile Safari hundreds of iPhone and iPad devices in 2014.

In the on-going copyright dispute between Google and Silicon Valley firm Oracle, court transcripts came to light about Google's agreement with Apple, which sees Apple receiving a percentage of revenue Google generates through its devices.

Oracle's attorney, Annette Hurst exposed how the revenue-sharing agreement benefits Apple financially from Google's advertising-based business model. According to Oracle, ‘at one point in time' that share was 34%, although it wasn't clear from the transcript whether that percentage is the amount of revenue kept by Google or paid to Apple.

This percentage, however, was disputed by Google.

"That percentage just stated, that should be sealed," said lawyer Robert Van Nest. "We are talking hypotheticals here. That's not a publicly known number."

Other figures disclosed in court showed Google's Android operating system has generated revenue of $31bn and profit of $22bn in its lifetime. In comparison, Apple generated $32.2bn revenue from the iPhone in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone.

Google's plea to block the sensitive information from public knowledge has been declined by the magistrate judge overseeing the hearing. The search engine giant later said in its court filing:

"Google does not publicly allocate revenues or profits to Android separate and apart from Google's general business. That non-public financial data is highly sensitive, and public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google's business."

Apple is detaching itself from Google as its Siri feature uses Microsoft's Bing and cannot be changed by the user.