During testimony in Epic Games‘ lawsuit against Google, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai confirmed that Google pays Apple 36% of the revenue generated from Google Search on Apple’s Safari browser. This revenue-sharing agreement is a key component of the Justice Department’s antitrust case against Google.
An expert witness testifying for Google revealed the 36% figure earlier this week, apparently by accident. When questioned by Epic’s attorney, Pichai acknowledged the accuracy of this percentage.
The attorney also alleged Google pays its largest Android partner, Samsung, less than half of what it pays Apple. Pichai said this was possible, though he did not know the exact figure. He explained that the Apple and Samsung deals are “like apples and oranges” since Samsung payments can include carriers.
Pichai added that Google still competes “fiercely” with Apple. Google spent nearly $49 billion in traffic acquisition costs last year, which includes payments to Apple, Samsung, and others.
Exact dollar amounts remain confidential
When asked the specific dollar amount paid to Apple, Pichai said it was over $10 billion. However, Epic’s attorney contended the real figure is around $18 billion.
Both Google and Apple’s lawyers asked the judge to keep exact figures confidential. However, the judge stated this was an open courtroom in the U.S. and sensitive information could not be concealed.
Google faces multiple antitrust lawsuits
In addition to Epic’s lawsuit, Google faces two Justice Department antitrust cases related to alleged anticompetitive practices. Google has been criticized for unnecessary secrecy in government lawsuits.
Epic also sued Apple on similar grounds but lost its case in an appeals court. Alphabet continues to battle multiple major lawsuits regarding claims of monopoly power abuse.