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Google paid Apple $1 billion to stay default iOS search engine

Google appears to have paid Apple as much as $1 billion (£700 million) to remain as the default search engine on iOS devices.

Relations between the two companies have been strained for some time, ever since the emergence of Android as a credible iPhone alternative back in 2008.

However, while Apple has taken steps like ditching Google Maps in 2012, it has kept Google as the default search engine on iOS.

It turns out this isn’t simply down to the overwhelming popularity of Google’s search engine. A recent Bloomberg report draws attention to a transcript of court proceedings from Oracle’s copyright lawsuit against Google.

That transcript shows that in 2014 Apple received a $1 billion payment from Google. An Oracle attorney revealed that Apple and Google have an agreement whereby Apple receives a percentage of revenues Google generates through Apple devices.

Related: iOS 9 review

According to one Google witness in the trial, “at one point in time the revenue share was 34 percent.” We don’t know whether this comment refers to Google’s split or Apple’s split. What we do know is that the figure is likely accurate, as both Apple and Google have attempted to have the quote struck from public record.

Some may view this fresh information as a sign of hypocrisy on Apple’s part. CEO Tim Cook has criticised Google’s ad-funded business model as an intrusion of privacy, yet Apple evidently profits directly (and handsomely) from it.

Next, check out some of iOS 9’s key features:

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