Skip to main content

Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to remain the default iOS search option

Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to remain the default iOS search option

Share this story

Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to keep its search function on iOS devices, Bloomberg reports, the result of an agreement the two companies have that gives Apple a percentage of the revenue Google earns through iPhones and iPads. Bloomberg cites a court transcript from the ongoing Oracle case against Google — the same case that yesterday revealed how much money Google makes from Android — in which Oracle attorney Annette Hearst disclosed the figure during a hearing on January 14th.

Google and Apple tried to hide the figure

Hearst quoted a Google witness in the case who said that "at one point, the revenue share was 34 percent" between Apple and Google. After that figure was revealed, both companies attempted to hide it, Bloomberg says. A Google attorney first attempted to have the mention of a 34 percent revenue share stricken from court records, but when the magistrate refused to do so, filed a separate request to seal and redact the transcript. Apple later joined the filing, in which Google said that "the specific financial terms of Google's agreement with Apple are highly sensitive to both Google and Apple," and that both companies treat the details as "highly confidential."

It's not yet clear whether Google's filing was successful, but soon after it appeared online, the transcript was apparently removed from electronic court records. Still, this isn't the first time that it's been reported Google pays Apple to remain the default search engine on iOS. Morgan Stanley and Macquarie analysts have quoted the same $1 billion figure in the past, in reports released in both 2012 and 2013. If anything, it's more of a surprise that Apple's rates haven't significantly changed over the years as iPhones have increased in sales, rising from the $1 billion indicated four years ago.