There are a number of high-profile court battles which seem to attract as much media attention for the actual ongoing battle as they do for the actual reason for the battle. Samsung and Apple is a prime example and Google and Oracle is another. While the base of the Google/Oracle battle is an important one, numerous reports have come through of late about the actual court case and suggestions of jury manipulation and court case timescales. However, all the court antics aside and in spite of being an argument which has gone on for years now, both companies have not reached a settlement and are due to reappear in court from May 9th, Monday.
Much of the media attention has focused on the significantly big figure that Oracle is looking to recover for using an unlicensed version of Java, what they accuse Google of. An argument which Google contrasts by stating Copyright's 'fair use' policy exempts the company from any costs associated with using Java. Those two conflicting views being the crux of the ongoing battle now. However, in terms of that big number, Oracle are looking for compensation in the region of $9.3 billion. This is broken down into a straight $8.8 billion for what Oracle believes Google has made off the back of Java, coupled with an extra half billion in damages. Oracle comes to this figure by suggesting Google has taken around $40.6 billion in total from Android (and by association Java). Which is further broken down by Oracle as $29 billion in revenue for search and advertising, along with $11.6 billion in Android sales. Of that, $11.4 billion in profit, which leads to Oracle’s self-determined share which equates to $8.8 billion, topped with the extra half a billion in damages. So in some respects, this is a big concern for Google.
That said, some shareholders and analysts don’t believe this is that much of a big deal for the Search giant. Even if Google was found liable and even if they were ordered to pay the full amount sought (which are both already big ifs), the reality is that the $9 billion will not affect Google in any meaningful way and certainly not on its investors. Mike Bailey, FBB Capital Partners’ Director of Research and who also happens to be a shareholder in Alphabet, made the point that as an awarded amount would be a one-off payment, it would have little impact on the company or its investors in the long term.