Report: Google paid $1B to remain default search on iPhone in 2014

Google forked over $1 billion to Apple in 2014 in payments likely related to keeping its search bar on the iPhone and iPad, according to a transcript of court proceedings reported by Bloomberg.

Google has been in a long-running licensing fight with Oracle, which claims the search giant used Java without paying for it to help develop Android. During a January hearing between the two companies in a San Francisco court, a Google lawyer appeared to shine some light on the search bar deal.

Attorney Annette Hurst said in court that a Google witness stated during a pretrial proceeding that "at one point in time the revenue share was 34 percent," according to Bloomberg. Whether that percentage is the amount of revenue kept by Google or paid to Apple is unclear, however.

A Google lawyer objected, saying that the stated percentage "should be sealed," according the transcript, adding that it's "not a publicly known number."

The judge later refused the request, prompting Google to ask that the transcript be sealed and redacted. Apple made the same request in a separate filing. Both companies declined to comment to Bloomberg on the matter.

The transcript then "vanished without a trace from official court records," Bloomberg reported.

While $1 billion may seem like a hefty price tag, it may also be a good deal for Google. As Quartz noted, the iPhone appears to have generated more in sales revenue in one quarter than Android has over its lifetime. And iOS users are far more willing to spend money through their phones than Android users are, as AppAnnie recently reported. So all those Google searches on iOS could be very lucrative.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg report

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