Satya Nadella: Microsoft was ready to lose billions to become Apple’s default search engine

October 2, 2023

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today testified in the government’s antitrust case against Google. He revealed several new pieces of information regarding Microsoft’s plans to thrive in the challenging web search market. During the hearing, Satya revealed that Microsoft was ready to spend around $15 billion to become the default search engine in Apple’s devices. He highlighted this information at the court to reiterate that Microsoft was ready to spend to make Bing a bigger and more competitive product. You can read the highlights of Satya’s testimony below:

  • Without Google’s huge user data collected using its monopoly position in the market, Bing was not able to better compete in terms of quality.
  • AI will further cement’s dominant position in search because Google will be able to lock data from other competing services. For example, Google will sign exclusive deals with publishers so that other services will not be able to crawl the data.
  • Google can dominate the search engine market by outspending rivals to prevent anyone else from building a better product.
  • Silicon Valley sees search business as “the biggest no-fly zone of all” as it is the hardest market to crack.
  • Even with new AI technologies, the distribution advantage which Google has today will not go away.
  • Apple and Google have a “fantastic oligopolistic arrangement”.
  • Microsoft spent $100 billion over the years to develop Bing.
  • The entire notion that people have choice in search is complete bogus.
  • On why Apple would ever want to switch to Bing: We have proven that if we get the user data from Apple’s query share, we can bridge the quality gap. Also, in the long run, it is better for Apple if search is more competitive because that will give Apple more options when negotiating search default deals.

Google’s lawyer cross examined Satya Nadella to highlight missteps related to Internet Explorer, Live Search, Windows Phone, and others. Google’s point is that Microsoft Bing failed since it is not a better product, not because it was not a default search engine on various products.

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