Oracle Google
Oracle CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison arrives at the Robert F. Peckham Federal Courthouse in San Jose, California September 19, 2011. Ellison and Google CEO Larry Page appeared in court Monday after a judge ordered two of Silicon Valley's most influential corporate leaders to attend mediation talks aimed at settling a year-long Java-patent infringement lawsuit leveled against Google. Reuters/Norbert von der Groeben

There have been rumours about how much Google pays Apple to be featured on its iPhones. However, transcripts from Oracle’s copyright lawsuit against Google has revealed that the search giant paid US$1 billion (AU$1.42 billion) to Apple in 2014 just to be on the iPhones. As per an agreement with Apple, Google pays a percentage of the revenue it generates through Apple devices. The information was disclosed in court, although Google spokesperson Aaron Stein and Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet declined to comment.

The revenue-sharing agreement bring to the fore two important points – one, to what extent Google goes to keep people using its search and second, how much Apple benefits financially from Google’s ad-based business model, despite chief executive Tim Cook criticising it as an intrusion of privacy.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Oracle attorney Annette Hurst disclosed details of the Apple-Google agreement during last week’s court hearing. A Google witness who was questioned during pre-trial information said “at one point in time the revenue share was 34 per cent.” However, the transcript was not clear enough to understand whether 34 percent was the revenue amount paid to Apple or kept by Google.

The case in question is Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., 10- cv-03561, US District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco). Oracle has been continuing the lawsuit against Google since 2010. It claimed Google used its Java software without paying them to develop its Android software. The damages Oracle now seek may exceed US$1 billion (AU$1.42 billion).

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

Surprisingly, the transcript vanished from all electronic records without any indication that the court agreed to Google’s request to seal it.