Google, Facebook and other companies will pay an undisclosed amount to Apple and Facebook for using their patents in a patent-licensing deal, according to two people familiar with the agreement who asked not to be identified discussing internal deliberations.
The deal could include licensing for at least some of the technology, including in areas such as voice and image recognition, or even in apps.
Facebook’s use of Google patents in its voice-recognition app for iOS, for instance, has drawn criticism from privacy advocates who say the technology is too similar to other applications and could be used to identify users without their consent.
Apple and Twitter have already agreed to share royalties, but the companies have not made any commitments about how much they’ll pay.
The terms of the agreement, which is expected to be finalized in the coming days, are still being negotiated, and details could be changed before it goes into effect.
Facebook and Google declined to comment.
Apple has been working on a patent licensing agreement with Twitter for years, and in 2016, it partnered with a company called Kino, which was part of the Google-Twitter partnership.
In the deal, Kino will license its technology to Apple for use in the new Siri voice assistant.
But the companies are unlikely to share the royalties.
They are also not expected to agree to licensing Apple’s intellectual property to the other companies in the agreement.
Twitter declined to discuss the agreement with The Washington Post.
A Twitter spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.
Facebook, which also declined to speak to The Post, said it was looking into the deal.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the agreement or on the possibility of additional licensing.
A spokeswoman for Kino declined to elaborate.
Facebook said in a statement that it is in discussions with other companies about licensing its intellectual property.
“We are confident that we can leverage Kino’s unique patent portfolio to bring innovative and useful products to millions of people across the globe,” the spokeswoman, Hannah Kucera, said in the statement.
“As part of our ongoing efforts to make products that empower people, we are exploring the use of Kino technology for new and useful applications, and look forward to partnering with others in the future.”
A Google spokesperson said the company is “focused on bringing our own technology to market and continues to explore new ways to leverage Kinko’s IP.”
Apple and Apple’s rivals have been working hard to lock in exclusive rights to a growing array of products, including the iPhone, iPad and Mac, as well as services like Netflix, Pandora and Spotify.
The agreement, if finalized, could be one of the most significant in a quarter that has seen an influx of companies entering the smartphone market, especially in the area of voice recognition.
Google is the dominant search engine in the U.S., and it has long been the dominant mobile platform.
Facebook has been trying to break into the mobile market since its founding in 2004.
Facebook acquired Instagram in 2014 for $1 billion and then bought Oculus VR in 2017 for $2 billion.
It has also been working to develop a voice assistant that can recognize human voices and that can read text in real time.
The company’s new voice assistant, called Tay, has been downloaded more than 40 million times and has become a top Google search term.
The technology was developed by Kino and its founder, Alexei Kinkov, and he recently left Facebook to join Google, where he has been leading efforts to develop machine-learning software for human-computer interaction.
Facebook declined to provide more details about the terms of this agreement.
Facebook did not disclose how much money the companies will receive for their patents.
The companies did not say how much royalty revenue they will receive, though Facebook says it expects to generate between $1.2 billion and $2.5 billion from the deal over the next five years.
The new agreement will give Facebook and Apple a boost in the smartphone-maker market, which had been struggling with a sluggish market and competition from other smartphone makers.
Facebook shares have lost more than 13 percent of their value in recent months amid criticism that the company has failed to embrace the technology needed to create powerful artificial intelligence tools.
The latest earnings report, which will be released later this week, shows that the social network has grown its revenue to more than $4 billion this year.
Apple is expected next week to release its fiscal second-quarter earnings report.