Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to be default search provider

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By Larry Banks

Court documents from the ongoing copyright lawsuit brought by Oracle against Google show the search company paid $1 billion to Apple in 2014 to make its search bar the default option in iOS.

In a transcript of the proceedings, an Oracle lawyer said that Google paid the funds as part of a revenue-sharing agreement with Apple, according to Bloomberg. Google apparently handed over a percentage of revenue generated via iOS device searches.

The report today confirms the speculation regarding the benefits that Apple receives allowing Google to process iOS searches. In 2013 it was estimated that Apple makes over a billion dollars from Google search referrals, although neither company has commented on the numbers.

An attorney for Oracle, Annette Hurst, said in court last week that an unnamed Google witness said “at one point in time the revenue share was 34 percent”, though it’s not clear if that’s the amount Google or Apple keeps.

The news is in contrast to Apple CEO Tim Cook’s comments on privacy, who has in the past made negative comments about companies such as Google that monetise personal data, including information from Internet searches.

“You might like these so-called free services, but we don’t think they’re worth having your email, your search history and now even your family photos data mined and sold off for God knows what advertising purpose”, said Cook at the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s Champions of Freedom event event last year. “And we think some day, customers will see this for what it is”.

Oracle is suing Google for allegedly using unlicensed Java software to build Android.

SOURCE: Bloomberg.

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