Apple received $1 billion from its rival in 2014, according to a
transcript of court proceedings from Oracle Corp.’s copyright
lawsuit against Google. The search engine giant has an agreement
with Apple that gives the iPhone maker a percentage of the revenue
Google generates through the Apple device, an attorney for Oracle
said at a Jan. 14 hearing in federal court. […]
Annette Hurst, the Oracle attorney who disclosed details of the
Google-Apple agreement at last week’s court hearing, said a Google
witness questioned during pretrial information said that “at one
point in time the revenue share was 34 percent.” It wasn’t clear
from the transcript whether that percentage is the amount of
revenue kept by Google or paid to Apple.
An attorney for Google objected to the information being disclosed
and attempted to have the judge strike the mention of 34 percent
from the record.
“That percentage just stated, that should be sealed,” lawyer
Robert Van Nest said, according to the transcript. “We are talking
hypotheticals here. That’s not a publicly known number.”
The magistrate judge presiding over the hearing later refused
Google’s request to block the sensitive information in the
transcript from public review. Google then asked Alsup to seal and
redact the transcript, saying the disclosure could severely affect
its ability to negotiate similar agreements with other companies.
Apple joined Google’s request in a separate filing.
“The specific financial terms of Google’s agreement with Apple are
highly sensitive to both Google and Apple,” Google said in its
Jan. 20 filing. “Both Apple and Google have always treated this
information as extremely confidential.”
The transcript vanished without a trace from electronic court
records at about 3 p.m. Pacific standard time with no indication
that the court ruled on Google’s request to seal it.
Fascinating. If it’s a revenue share agreement (as opposed to a flat sum), I wonder how Apple verifies the numbers?
Everyone knows Google pays Apple for this placement, but now that we have an actual figure (and no reason to believe it’s gone down since 2014), how does this square with Tim Cook’s criticism of Google’s targeted advertising business model as an invasion of privacy?