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Google Levels Lawsuit Over Exposure Of $1 Billion Secret Deal

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

Google is filing a motion for sanctions against Oracle and its law firm because Oracle divulged financial agreements between Google and another tech giant, Apple.

Google is more than perturbed that Oracle, a database management company, revealed that Google pays Apple $1 billion to allow their search bar to remain the standard on their products like iPhones.

Google and Oracle have been at odds since 2010, according to Arstechnica, in which legal proceedings have taken place for copyright reasons. Oracle attorney Annette Hurst was the one who first publicized the arrangement during the intellectual property trial.

“Look at the extraordinary magnitude of commerciality here,” Hurst testified in court. She then went on to disclose the revenue-split and the specific numbers behind the contract: 34 percent.

“That percentage just stated, that should be sealed,” Google lawyer Robert Van Nest said, according to a transcript of the hearing. “We are talking hypotheticals here. That’s not a publicly known number.”

But it now is a publicly known number. Google wants Hurst to be punished for “disclosures and its subsequent actions [that] reveal a profound disregard for this Court’s Protective Order and for other parties’ confidential information” since “Google and third party Apple were harmed by Oracle’s counsel’s disclosure regarding the terms of a significant and confidential commercial agreement,” a Google petition reads.

Along with the sanctions against Hurst, the tech conglomerate is seeking $3.9 million in reimbursement due to certain costs of the case, including $1.8 million spent for managing documents, $1.8 million in payments for a court-appointed expert, and roughly $300,000 for transcript fees.

According to Arstechnica, Google most likely cannot recover any of the other legal fees, which are substantially more than the $3.9 million they are asking for.

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