Back in 2020, Microsoft was considering selling its Bing search engine to Apple, Bloomberg reports. If the acquisition were to go ahead, Bing would replace Google as the default search engine on Apple devices.
Microsoft executives met with Apple support chief Eddie Cue to discuss a potential deal, but the talks were only preliminary and made no progress. According to Bloomberg, Apple didn't make the deal because of the money it makes from Google and because it was concerned that Bing wouldn't be able to compete with Google on “quality and features.”
Google's search engine has long been the default search engine on iPhones, iPads and Macs, and Google pays Apple billions of dollars a year for the privilege. Google and Apple last signed a deal facilitated by Cue in 2021, and as of 2020, Apple was receiving $4 billion and $7 billion annually from Google. The Apple-Google deal has come under scrutiny this week due to an antitrust case between Google and the US Department of Justice, with the DOJ pointing to Google's dominance of Apple devices as evidence that Google has a monopoly on search engines.
Eddie Q he had to testify in court this week and explained why Google is the default search engine on the iPhone. “We made Google the default search engine because we always thought it was the best,” Cue said. He went on to say that Apple did not choose another search engine provider because there was “no valid alternative.”
Although Google is the default search engine on Apple devices, users can switch to Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo or Ecosia as an alternative. Bing has recently become a more popular search engine option thanks to Microsoft's partnership with OpenAI and the integration of chatbot technology.
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