In a surprising revelation, Microsoft reportedly approached Apple with a proposal to sell its search engine, Bing. However, the discussions never reached a conclusive stage, leaving Bing’s fate unchanged and Google’s dominance on Apple devices unchallenged.
- Microsoft and Apple held discussions in 2020 regarding the potential sale of Bing.
- The talks were exploratory and never progressed to serious negotiations.
- Apple’s top executive, Eddy Cue, was involved in the meetings.
- Apple’s longstanding lucrative arrangement with Google played a role in maintaining the status quo.
- Concerns were raised about Bing’s ability to rival Google in terms of quality and capabilities.
In a detailed report from The Verge, it was revealed that executives from both tech giants met in 2020 to explore the possibility of a Bing sale. However, the discussions remained in the preliminary phase, indicating that Apple’s top-tier executives, including Eddy Cue, did not seriously consider the proposition.
The ongoing FTC antitrust suit against Google has shed light on Apple’s stance regarding search engines. It appears that Apple has never genuinely contemplated replacing Google as the default search engine on its iPhones. Microsoft’s perspective suggests that Apple might have used the Bing sale proposition as leverage to negotiate better terms with Google.
Bloomberg’s report underscores the lucrative relationship between Apple and Google as a significant factor in preserving the existing setup. Apple reportedly had reservations about Bing’s capability to match Google’s quality and performance. This aligns with Eddy Cue’s testimony, where he mentioned the absence of a valid alternative to Google when the deal was initiated. Furthermore, Apple is estimated to earn around $20 billion annually from the agreement that ensures Google’s position as the primary search engine on iOS and iPadOS.
Interestingly, Bing had its moments of prominence. As highlighted by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Bing was the default search engine for Siri and Spotlight searches for several years, starting with iOS 7. This move was perceived by many as a precursor to a more significant shift. However, Apple maintained its allegiance to Google, providing users with the search results they were accustomed to.
In 2016, significant meetings took place between Apple’s Tim Cook and Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, hinting at a potential groundbreaking deal. However, these discussions did not materialize into any concrete agreement. Apple and Google extended their partnership in 2021, suggesting that Microsoft’s proposal the previous year was an effort to disrupt the renewal plans.
The tech world is no stranger to mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships. However, the potential sale of Bing to Apple would have been a game-changer. While the discussions between Microsoft and Apple remained inconclusive, they offer a glimpse into the competitive dynamics of the tech industry and the strategic moves companies consider to strengthen their market position.