Jan 22nd, 2016

Google and Oracle’s court proceedings are heating up. The latter — who is still pursuing judgment against Google for “stealing” Java code to build Android in what has become a 5-year war — has cut deep in its recent filings.

For starters, Oracle revealed that Google has made as much as $31 billion in revenue on Android to date, most of which was primarily driven by the ads users see when using Google Search and various other products, as well as the money they make from sales in the Google Play Store. $22 billion of that revenue was billed as pure profit.

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Oracle’s motive in revealing the information is no big mystery: the more money they can prove Google made on Android, the more money they’ll be able to ask for in the event that they win the lawsuit. Whether they’ll eventually get that money or win that lawsuit is still yet to be determined.

Oracle also revealed that Google paid Apple $1 billion in an agreement to make Google Search the default search engine on iOS. The deal supposedly gives Apple a percentage of all revenue (34%, apparently) earned on search ads that are performed on iPhones and iPads. None of this is surprising in business: deals are made, money is exchanged, and both sides benefit. Why this is relevant to Oracle’s case regarding the use of Android in Java? We can’t say.

Google’s biggest problem with all of this is that none of this information was even supposed to be presented to the court. The information was presented to Oracle’s attorneys in private for various reasons, and Google says the disclosure of the terms of those agreements would be detrimental to their business. Apple feels the same, too: both of them have asked the judge to redact and seal the statements made by the Oracle attorney on grounds of the information being highly confidential.

We’re not sure how this is going to play out in the near future, but Oracle certainly has no problem using whatever information they can to get what they feel they’re owed (which could be over $1 billion if the courts see things their way). Let’s just hope the courts force them to go about it the right way instead of passing along information that they had no business telling.

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