Google's ongoing antitrust trial in the U.S. has been something it has tried to keep out of the limelight, but unfortunately, during today's proceedings a key bit of information regarding its long-standing search deal with Apple was unintentionally revealed, Bloomberg reports.
It was revealed that Google is paying Apple a 36 percent cut of all of its search ad revenue that comes from Apple's Safari browser, according to Kevin Murphy, a professor from the University of Chicago, who shared the figure during his testimony for Google's defense.
The legal proceedings for this case were originally filed back in 2020 by the United States Department of Justice for monopolistic practices. The complaint itself directly mentions how Google is "entering into long-term agreements with Apple that require Google to be the default - and de facto exclusive - general search engine on Apple's popular Safari browser and other Apple search tools."
According to Bloomberg, it was observed that Google's lawyer, John Schmidtlein, "visibly cringed when Murphy said the number." showing exactly how far Google had been going to keep this secret all this time. Google even attempted to remove the public and reporters from the courtroom during sessions.
The Justice Department is using this agreement as its main argument against Google in the ongoing trial, which began in September 2023. It says that this is evidence that "Google is illegally maintaining its dominance over the search engine and search advertising markets."
Google originally struck the deal to be the default search provider for Apple's Safari browser back in 2002, and it has maintained that ever since extending it to wherever Apple extended the Safari browser's presence. This also included the launch of both the iPhone in 2007 and the iPad in 2010.
Apple has yet to comment on this recent news. Google has unsurprisingly declined to comment.