According to a Bloomberg report, court documents revealed on Thursday that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to be the tech giants default search engine.
Bloomberg uncovered the figure in a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle’s copyright lawsuit battle with Google. The transcript was subsequently pulled from the electronic court records following objections by Google and Apple.
The payout was part of a revenue-sharing agreement between the two companies that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue Google generates through Apple devices, an attorney for Oracle said during the hearing.
She suggested that at one point it was as high as 34 per cent, but it’s not clear whether Google or Apple had the larger share of revenue.
The payment kept Google as the default search engine for mobile Safari, allowing it to continue to cash in on iOS.
An attorney for Google reportedly objected to the information being disclosed and asked the judge to omit the 34 per cent detail from the record.
But they refused the request, despite the search company saying the disclosure of this sensitive information could affect its ability to negotiate revenue sharing deals with other companies.
The alleged deal shows how important it is for Google, creator of Android, the operating system that powers the majority of the world’s smartphones, to have its search bar in front of as many faces as possible, even to the point of paying its biggest rival to cover all its bases.
Google’s Android operating system, the most popular in the world, has generated revenue of $31bn and profit of $22bn in its lifetime.
Apple generated $32.2bn revenue from the iPhone in the fourth quarter of 2015 alone.
The two operating systems made up nearly 96 percent of the global smartphone operating system market in the second quarter of 2015, according to data by market researcher IDC.