Google paid Apple $1bn for a search bar

2016-01-22 11:43
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Apple iPhone 6s. (Eric Risberg, AP)

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San Francisco - Google is paying Apple a hefty fee to keep its search bar on the iPhone.

Apple received $1bn from its rival in 2014, according to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle’s copyright lawsuit against Google.

The search engine giant has an agreement with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle said at a January 14 hearing in federal court.

Rumors about how much Google pays Apple to be on the iPhone have circulated for years, but the companies have never publicly disclosed it.

Kristin Huguet, a spokesperson for Apple, and Google spokesperson Aaron Stein both declined to comment on the information disclosed in court.

The revenue-sharing agreement reveals the lengths Google must go to keep people using its search tool on mobile devices. It also shows how Apple benefits financially from Google’s advertising-based business model that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has criticised as an intrusion of privacy.

Oracle has been fighting Google since 2010 over claims that the search engine company used its Java software without paying for it to develop Android.

The showdown has returned to US District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco after a pit stop at the US Supreme Court, where Google lost a bid to derail the case. The damages Oracle now seeks may exceed $1bn since it expanded its claims to cover newer Android versions.

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