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January 22, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 9:43am

Oracle spills Google secrets in court: Apple paid $1 billion for Safari browser search

News: Confidential figures emerged during ongoing software copyright battle.

By Alexander Sword

The Android operating system has generated profit of $22 billion since it was launched, a lawyer for Oracle claimed in court as its legal fight with Google continues.

The figures, which Google has sought to keep secret, also indicate that the operating system had generated revenue of $31 billion.

In addition, Oracle revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion to carry its search bar on the iPhone.

Oracle’s counsel revealed the figures during a 14 January hearing, much to the anger of Google, which moved quickly to try and block them from public view.

A transcript was seen by Reuters on 21 January but was removed that day.

The figures were derived from internal Google financial documents, designated as ‘highly confidential’ under the Protective Order governing the case.

Oracle did not provide advance notice to Google that it was planning to disclose the information.

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Google‘s objection was that information about its confidential deals being publicly available would damage its ability to negotiate in the future.

"Public disclosure of the Apple-related financial information would severely and adversely impact Google’s ability to negotiate, inter alia, similar terms with other third parties in connection with similar agreements now or in the future.

"In addition to being highly confidential to Google, this information is also subject to a non-disclosure agreement with Apple and constitutes Apple’s confidential information."

The case centres on copyright and patent claims on the operating system. Sun Microsystems developed Java from 1991, which included a programming language, a virtual machine and libraries for use with the language.

Some of Java’s technologies were used in Android, which began development in 2003.

After Oracle purchased Sun in 2010, no licensing agreement was reached and Oracle sued Google in August 2010.

Ben Wood, Chief of Research at CCS Insight, told CBR that the revelations would not significantly affect Google’s business.

"Google is so dominant; it is a freight train that seems unstoppable right now. It’s an interesting revelation but Google is earning money from all directions."

As for the Apple revelations, CCS Insight has previously predicted that Apple might look to a different search partner by the end of 2017 as the competitive dynamic between the two changes: possibly Microsoft’s Bing.

"The change affects iOS and OS X versions of Apple’s browser," says CCS Insight. The move is indicative of heightened competition between Apple and Google, and follows Apple’s replacement of Google Maps in iOS and OS X.

"The switch dents Google’s standing as a search provider. For Microsoft, the deal exemplifies its strategy of becoming a cross-platform service provider."

"[The Apple figure] shows what high stakes it is to grab that slot on Apple," says Ben Wood. "It shows Apple is in an extremely strong negotiating position."

As the Google lawyer mentioned in the filing, the information is also sensitive to Apple and could have a bearing on any future negotiations it might conduct.

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