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Microsoft Executive Says Google's Dominance as Search Engine Overshadowed Bing

CIO Insider Team | Friday, 29 September, 2023

In testimony, a Microsoft executive said that Apple and other phone makers rejected revenue-sharing deals that would have benefited his company's Bing search engine, maintaining Google's dominant position as the default search engine on those devices.

Jonathan Tinter, a vice president of Microsoft whose responsibility it was to assist Bing in expanding, gave testimony during the trial of the antitrust case brought by the US Justice Department against Alphabet's Google.

The government claimed that Google paid wireless providers and smartphone manufacturers $10 billion annually to make Google search the default on their products.

The government claims that Google has abused its search monopoly and some search advertising practices.

According to Tinter, Bing has failed to become the default search engine on American-sold smartphones, and this smaller market has resulted in lower-quality search.

In response to questions from the Justice Department, Tinter said that despite Microsoft occasionally offering to pay more than 100 percent of revenue - or more - to its partner, Bing was not the default installed in any Android or Apple smartphone sold in the United States in the previous ten years.

From 2013 through 2017, Apple and Microsoft had an agreement under which Apple used Microsoft's Bing search engine to power Siri and Spotlight search results. Microsoft started working on a proposal to build on its agreement with Apple to make Bing the default search engine in Safari on iPhone, iPad, and Mac toward the end of this agreement in 2016.

The government claims that Google has abused its search monopoly and some search advertising practices.

Eddy Cue, vice president of services at Apple, said during his testimony earlier this week that the company was in talks to extend its long-standing partnership with Google at the same time. By way of this contract, Google gives Apple a portion of the advertising revenue it receives from searches on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

In the end, Apple renewed its agreement with Google in 2016 and expanded it to cover searches made using Siri and Spotlight as well. The relationship between Apple and Microsoft was effectively destroyed as a result.

However, in 2020, Apple and Microsoft began new negotiations. According to Bloomberg, Microsoft executives met with Eddy Cue, vice president of services at Apple, to "discuss the possibility of acquiring Bing."

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