Google's Android secrets revealed in court

Google's new phones, tablet in :90
Google's new phones, tablet in :90

Google is having a major freakout about some highly sensitive numbers that Oracle mentioned in court last week.

Android has produced $31 billion in sales and $22 billion in profit since 2008, Oracle's attorney Annette Hurst said in a U.S. District Court hearing in San Francisco on January 14, according to Bloomberg.

Hurst told the court that the amount of money that Android was making was "extraordinary."

Google also paid Apple $1 billion in 2014 to maintain its presence as the default search tool in the iPhone's Safari browser, Hurst told the court.

Apple (AAPL) has recently made Microsoft (MSFT) Bing the default search tool for Siri and the Spotlight search app, but Google has paid quite a lot to keep its top search position in the iPhone's browser.

Until now, the Android's finances and the value of its partnership deals had remained a mystery. Google never broke out its Android sales or profit in its quarterly earnings report, and Apple did not detail the amount it received in search partner fees.

In fact, Google says the information that Oracle's attorney presented in court was printed on a page that said, "HIGHLY CONFIDENTIAL -- ATTORNEY'S EYES ONLY."

"Oracle improperly revealed during that hearing sensitive, non-public financial information regarding revenues and profits relating to Android," Google said in a motion to redact Oracle's testimony from the public record filed Thursday. "Public disclosure could have significant negative effects on Google's business."

Google also noted that it and Apple treat its search agreements as "extremely confidential." Other companies might now see the amount that Google pays Apple and wonder why their deal isn't as sweet.

"Public disclosure of this information could severely and adversely impact Google's ability to negotiate ... similar terms with other third parties in connection with similar agreements now or in the future."

The transcript from the hearing had initially been made public but has since been taken down from the court's website.

Google (GOOGL) makes money from Android three ways: When customers pay for apps on Google Play, Google takes a 30% cut. Google also licenses its core apps, including YouTube, Google Search, Google Play Store and Gmail to smartphone makers. And it makes money from advertising served on Android apps.

A spokeswoman for Oracle and a spokesman for Google declined to comment.

Oracle (ORCL) is suing Google for more than $1 billion for using part of its Java code in Android. Oracle claims that Google's Android infringes patents that Oracle holds on its Java software, a ubiquitous programming language powering everything from phones to websites.

The companies have been battling this case for five years, even taking it to the Supreme Court before ending up back where they had started. A jury initially awarded Google a victory, but Oracle won an appeal.

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