Science & Technology

Microsoft Reportedly Discusses Selling Its Bing Search Engine to Apple

The media reported that Microsoft was discussing the sale of its Bing search engine to Apple.

Microsoft Reportedly Discusses Selling Its Bing Search Engine to Apple

Journalists, citing insiders, report that the tech giants conducted negotiations for the relevant content around 2020. If progress had been made in the form of an agreement between the two companies as part of this process, Microsoft’s search engine would have replaced a similar Google digital product on Tim Cook’s firm devices. However, scaling up the use of Bing did not take place.

Insider data evidence that Microsoft executives met with Apple support manager Eddy Cue, who was a kind of intermediary in the relations of the Google search engine. Within the framework of this communication, the issue of a potentially possible acquisition of Bing was discussed. The insiders who informed the journalists of this information asked not to be named, since the meeting was confidential, and the tech giants did not consider it necessary to publish data about it in the public space. They also stated that the negotiations were exploratory in nature and had not reached an advanced stage.

The media reports that for many years other options have been discussed to make Bing the default search engine. Apple took part in discussions of the relevant content, but eventually opted for Google’s offer. The subject of the negotiations between the two technology giants, which ended without any constructive results, was updated again and in a sense received a new meaning. The so-called revived significance arose against the background of a lawsuit against Google, which was initiated by the US Department of Justice upon the company’s accusation of abuse of dominance in the Internet search space. In this case, the main topic is the relationship between the virtual services giant and Apple. The ministry claims that Google pays Tim Cook’s company billions of dollars to have its search engine pre-installed on devices of this brand.

Representatives of Microsoft and Apple did not comment on media reports about the negotiations over the acquisition of Bing and the significance of this proposal in the context of modern realities.

The Redmond, Washington-based company launched its search engine in 2009. Microsoft initially positioned Bing as a competitor to a similar digital offering from Google, but the efforts did not lead to success. The statistics clearly show that the company from Remond is not in favor. Google’s search engine is currently an industry leader and demonstrates strong stability in its position. At the same time, the share of Bing usage in the Internet query system is less than 10%.

Apple and Microsoft are involved in the US government’s lawsuit against Google. The heads of both companies are testifying. The Department of Justice insists that the deal on the interaction between Google and Apple is proof that the Internet search giant is abusing its dominant position and is taking actions aimed at strengthening the monopoly. A representative of Tim Cook’s company rejected these conclusions in his testimony this week, saying that the iPhone manufacturer uses the search engine of the party of the proceedings against which the charges are directed, due to the fact that this is the best available option.

Apple and Google entered into the first agreement on the use of Internet search services in 2002. The companies agreed to cooperate ahead of the presentation of the first web browser for Mac. Over time, this deal has extended to other Apple devices. The Department of Justice claims that as a result of the agreement, Tim Cook’s company began to receive annual profits in the range of $4 billion to $7 billion by 2020.

The deal currently applies to the Safari web browser for iPhone, iPad, and Mac. Apple receives a percentage of Google’s revenue from searching in the mentioned browser.

The media reports that the income received as a result of the deal with the Internet search giant was the main reason why Tim Cook’s company decided not to acquire Bing. Journalists also claim that Apple had concerns about the competitiveness of Microsoft’s development in terms of quality and capabilities.

At the same time, a company from Cupertino, California, partially used Bing. Between 2013 and 2017, Microsoft’s product was the default search engine in Siri and Spotlight, a feature in the iPhone and iPad. Six years ago, Apple resumed cooperation with Google under an updated revenue-sharing agreement. Bing is an option for searching in Safari.

Last Thursday, September 28, in court, Microsoft’s executive director for business development, Jon Tinter, said that the company was considering the possibility of multibillion-dollar investments in the development of cooperation with Apple in 2016. According to him, the tech giant sought to surpass Google and make its search engine the default option on brand from Cupertino devices. He said that the chief executive officers of the companies, Satya Nadella and Tim Cook held a meeting during which the prospects of the deal were discussed, which in the end was never implemented.

Google is currently the search engine inside Siri and Spotlight, and the default option in Safari. The deal between the Internet giant and Apple was extended in 2021. About a year before, Microsoft offered Tim Cook’s company to buy Bing.

Eddy Cue, in his testimony during the trial against Google, hinted that the technology of the Redmond-based company’s search engine is inferior to the Internet giant’s offer, which Apple uses. He stated that he could not suggest options for the iPhone manufacturer’s actions in the event of a failure of negotiations with the current partner, to whom the Department of Justice has claimed.

Experts say that if the negotiations between Apple and Microsoft ended with the signing of an agreement on the acquisition of Bing, the likelihood that Tim Cook’s company would simply integrate a search engine into its platform is unlikely. The past experience of acquiring a brand from Cupertino indicates that the iPhone manufacturer uses the basic technologies and resources of third-party firms to create a new feature.

In his testimony, Eddy Cue stated that Apple does not consider it necessary to create its own search tool, noting that Google’s product is clearly the best option. Special attention should be paid to the fact that the manufacturer simultaneously cooperates with the Internet giant and competes with it in the spheres of operating systems for smartphones and computers, voice assistants, and mapping software.

As we have reported earlier, Microsoft Reportedly Works to Build Cheaper AI Software.

Serhii Mikhailov

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Serhii’s track record of study and work spans six years at the Faculty of Philology and eight years in the media, during which he has developed a deep understanding of various aspects of the industry and honed his writing skills; his areas of expertise include fintech, payments, cryptocurrency, and financial services, and he is constantly keeping a close eye on the latest developments and innovations in these fields, as he believes that they will have a significant impact on the future direction of the economy as a whole.