For may years Google and Apple have never disclosed the an amount, but it's widely known that the search giant pays the iPhone maker billions each year to remain the default search engine on the iPhone, Mac and the rest of its devices. 

How much exactly has remained a mystery -- for now, anyway but a new lawsuit could very well change this paradigm.

In addition to paying to remain the default search engine on it devices, part of the agreement between the two companies requires that Apple won't compete against Google in the search business. 

Even though there has been may rumours about an Apple Search Engine for some time now, if Apple did develop its own search product, it would be in violation of its existing agreement with Google.

It's quite likely that this lawsuit won;t gain any traction at all, but it does once again highlight just how highly valuable search remains almost two decades after it changed the world of advertising, for ever.