Google Paid Apple $1 Billion In 2014 For Privilege Of Search Bar On iPhone

When you go to perform a Web search on an iPhone, the phone automatically chooses Google for you. Why? There are other fine search engines out there, and the iPhone could direct you to use any of them. However, the public learned from a copyright lawsuit against Google that the two companies have a revenue-sharing agreement that keeps iPhones performing Google searches, and in 2014 the revenue that Apple received was $1 billion.

The company suing Google in this case is Oracle, in a case that began back in 2010. Google is accused of using Java, software belonging to Oracle, to develop its Android operating system. Google’s sharing revenue with a frenemy tech company came up during trial last week, and Google attempted to keep this information from the public record.

Bloomberg reports that the information didn’t come from a representative of Google or Apple, but from one of Oracle’s attorneys, who learned about the arrangement from Google employees before the trial began. A number cited in court was a 34% revenue agreement–presumably this means that Apple receives 34% of the ad revenue that Google receives from iPhone users’ searches, but that wasn’t made clear in court.

Google asked the court to seal transcripts containing that information, and Apple–which isn’t actually part of this case–joined in. The judge’s ruling wasn’t announced to the public, but that transcript is no longer available on the public electronic court record.

Google Paid Apple $1 Billion to Keep Search Bar on iPhone [Bloomberg]