Google pays Apple $1 billion per year to keep its search bar on the iPhone, court papers show

Apple has been removing Google services from iPhones in recent years, and boss Tim Cook has criticised the company’s business model

Google is paying Apple $1 billion per year to keep iPhone users searching its site, according to new court documents.

Apple was given $1 billion by Google in 2014, in return for ensuring that the search bar in its browser continued to search Google, reports Bloomberg.

Rumours have long circulated that the two companies had a deal to ensure that the iPhone kept Google search, but neither company ever disclosed the details. Now documents released as part of a separate lawsuit show the huge price that Google is paying to ensure it stays in the Safari web browser.

As well as the $1 billion payment, the two companies also share revenues from the data that Google collects. The company pays for its search engine by harvesting the terms that are searched for, and then allowing advertisers to put content next to those ads.

The payment revolves around the small bar that sits at the top of the Safari window, which can be used either for typing URLs or for searching. Google is the default, and search results are shown on Google’s own site, though users can also switch between other providers in the settings.

Apple has been slowly removing Google-powered services from its iPhones in recent years. For a long time, perhaps the most obvious was the Maps app, which used Google’s data — but that has now been dropped for Apple Maps and the Google Maps app lives separately in the App Store.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has also criticised Google’s business model of using data and selling information to advertisers in recent years.

Both Apple and Google declined to comment to Bloomberg.

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