Google ‘paid Apple $1bn to keep search bar as default option'
GOOGLE paid fellow technology firm Apple one billion US dollars (£700m) in 2014 to keep its search bar as the default option on the iPhone and iPad, it has been claimed.
According to court documents – since removed from the web – from an on-going lawsuit against Google by software firm Oracle, a deal was allegedly put in place between the two Silicon Valley firms that also saw Google pay Apple a percentage of their revenue from traffic made on Apple's mobile devices.
However Bloomberg, who first reported the story, said the court transcript referencing the deal has since "vanished without a trace from electronic court records".
All web searches that take place on iOS devices, namely the iPhone and iPad, are done so using Google, with Google's search engine embedded into the mobile devices' interface.
Computer company Oracle is suing Google over claims the firm used Oracle's Java software to develop Android – Google's mobile operating system that runs on smartphones and tablets – but did not pay for it.
Both Apple and Google have so far declined to comment.
Deals between software and hardware companies to include services on devices are common, and speculation of an alleged agreement between the two technology rivals has existed for many years.
Analysts from both Morgan Stanley and Macquarie have suggested the one billion dollar figure in the past.
Earlier this week it was also revealed that Google removed more than 780 million "bad" adverts from its sites last year.
"Some bad ads, like those for products that falsely claim to help with weight loss, mislead people," the firm said in a blog post.
"Others help fraudsters carry out scams, like those that lead to 'phishing' sites that trick people into handing over personal information.
"Through a combination of computer algorithms and people at Google reviewing ads, we're able to block the vast majority of these bad ads before they ever get shown."
The company added that it has a global team of more than 1,000 people and "sophisticated technology" working to remove such adverts.