Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) is not comfortable with the recent disclosures made by an Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) lawyer in court. As such, the company has asked the court’s permission to allow it muzzle Oracle to avoid further discussion on what it terms confidential information. Among other things, Oracle’s lawyer discussed how Android has generated $22 billion in profit and how Google paid Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) $1 billion to retain its search bar on iPhones.
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The disclosures by Oracle through its lawyer surprised many. It has never been known that Google pays money to Apple to keep its search bar on iPhones. It has also never been made public that Google and Apple have a revenue-sharing agreement whereby the companies split search revenue generated through iPhones. In any case, Apple has been critical of Google’s monetization strategy whereby it sells its user data to advertisers.
Friends or enemies?
Oracle’s court disclosures brought to the fore how Alphabet and Apple appear to antagonize each other on the surface but have secret revenue arrangements built around mobile search.
Oracle’s lawyer further disclosed that Android, which is the most widely used mobile operating system in the world, has generated $31 billion in revenue and at least $22 billion in profits since it was released.
Access to confidential information
Perhaps fearing further disclosure of details of its confidential relationship with Apple, Google wants the court to muzzle Oracle’s lawyer. Google’s letter to seek permission for sanctions against Oracle was sent to Donna Ryu, a U.S. Magistrate judge and William Alsup, a U.S. district judge. The letter specifically seeks to bar Oracle’s lawyer from accessing the now controversial confidential information regarding Google’s revenue arrangement with Apple. What that would accomplish at this point is anyone’s guess, given the information is already public.
Dispute over Java in Android
Alphabet and Oracle are in contest over the use of Java in Android. Oracle wants a share of Android revenue because of its Java language used in the software. Alphabet for its part insists that it doesn’t have to pay Oracle for using Java. Google also fought with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) over Android in the past.