Google paid Apple $1 billion to keep its search bar on the iPhone

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Got a new iPhone? Set it up right.
Breaking news: There's big money in search.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android
Breaking news: There's big money in search. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android
Breaking news: There’s big money in search. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Android

Android and iOS may be mortal enemies in some ways, but Google clearly realizes the value of having Apple’s hundreds of millions of customers use its search engine.

So much so, in fact, that in 2014 Google paid Apple a massive $1 billion to keep its search bar on the iPhone.

The details were revealed in a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle’s copyright lawsuit against Google, which has been ongoing since 2010.

The $1 billion Google paid to Apple is a percentage of the revenue Google makes through Apple devices. At one point in time this revenue share broke down at around 34 percent, although it’s not known if this is the percentage that Google paid Apple, or kept for itself.

Interesting, Bloomberg — which broke the news — points out that this deal demonstrates how, “Apple benefits financially from Google’s advertising-based business model that Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has criticized as an intrusion of privacy.”

As the news outlet notes, Cook has often been critical of Google’s business model — with his most famous denunciation of it being when he told 60 Minutes interviewer Charlie Rose that “you are not our product,” referring to the way Apple doesn’t agree with mining user information.

“The specific financial terms of Google’s agreement with Apple are highly sensitive to both Google and Apple,” Google said in its January 20 court filing. “Both Apple and Google have always treated this information as extremely confidential.”