The fact that Google is the default search engine on your browser is not a coincidence. It's a $1 billion deal between Google and Apple.
That was the previously unknown revelation in a Jan. 14 court hearing around a completely unrelated issue: Oracle's lawsuit against Google for a long-running and very boring copyright dispute about whether Google borrowed Oracle's Java technology to build Android phones.
The documents show that Google paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to be the preferred search engine on the iPhone, reported Bloomberg News. The two companies then agreed to share revenue — presumably from search ads — but it's not clear how the money was split.
Apple and Google both lobbied the court to strike the details of their search deal from court documents, Bloomberg reported, with Google arguing it was "highly sensitive." When Google asked the court to hide the details of the deal, it said the information could hinder similar deals with other companies, indicating that Google has muscled its way into default status on other platforms as well.
There is no mention of the arrangement — and no mention of Apple at all — in Google's most recent quarterly report to shareholders, which is designed to mention any "material," or important, business arrangements publicly. It's not clear if Google considers the $1 billion arrangement "material."
The blockbuster deal between Apple and Google shows how Google, which made $66 billion in revenue in 2014, can keep buying its way to search supremacy against rivals.
There was a report in 2014 that Marissa Mayer, the CEO of Yahoo, was trying to get her own company's product to be the default search engine on iPhones, but she did not succeed.