Revenue-Shares: Google Reportedly Pays $1 Billion for Apple to Keep Its Search Bar on iOS Devices

By Staff Writer

Jan 22, 2016 09:04 PM EST

The world's biggest search engine, Google, has reportedly made a $1 billion payment for Apple to keep its search bar on iOS devices. The transaction, which is believed to be done in 2014 came out in an unexpected way in court proceedings from Oracle's lawsuit against Google.

The Oracle vs Google lawsuit began in 2010 when Oracle claimed that the search engine provider used 37 of its Java APIs to develop Android without paying. Google argued it was free to use them because the Java programming language is free to use, but Oracle responded that Google knowingly used the APIs without a license from Oracle's Sun Microsystems.

Eventually, Google lost a bid to derail the case at the U.S Supreme Court. But even now, Oracle is still seeking damages from Google as the computer technology corporation expanded its claims over newer Android versions.

Bloomberg revealed that the agreement entails that Google would give Apple a percentage of the revenue Google generates through Apple devices. The reported $1 billion payment was believed to be part of the revenue-sharing agreement. The statement originated from an attorney for Oracle at a hearing in federal court.

This is not the first time people heard about Google having to pay Apple to retain its search bar on iOS devices. Rumors have been evolving around that speculation, but both Google and Apple never really confirmed nor denied them.

However, after the hearing for the Oracle lawsuit that revealed this information, an unnamed Google witness said that "at one point in time the revenue shares was 34 percent." But Google's attorney immediately objected to the reference. Lawyer Robert Van Nest said, "That percentage just stated, that should be sealed. We are talking hypotheticals here. That's not a publicly known number."

According to CNET, Google, who owns Android, makes up 82.8 percent of the smartphone market compared to Apple's 13.9 percent. Together, the two operating systems made up nearly 96 percent of the global market. But it's also worth noted that iOS gained more than 2 percent from the previous quarter while on the other hand Google has lost 2 percent.

Gizmodo also reported that in the same court case Oracle claimed that Google has made $22 billion in profit from Android operating system, solely from ads and apps. But it's apparently only equal to about half a year of selling iPhones.

Representatives for both Apple and Google have not responded to requests for comment, but this news has created a lot of buzz among tech-enthusiasts. It's considered as an important news that the web giant could be paying its biggest rival to use its service via revenue-sharing. 

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