Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella, didn’t mince words during the ongoing Google antitrust trial. Alphabet Inc.’s search division faces allegations of unlawfully maintaining a monopoly by reportedly paying a hefty $10 billion annually to secure its search engine as the default option across mobile devices and web browsers.
Nadella expressed his skepticism about the idea of users having a real choice in the search market, stating, ‘You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, and use Google for search.’
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has leveled these allegations against Google and is attempting to establish that the tech giant’s grip on the search market is unbreakable. Microsoft is playing a crucial role in this trial.
Last week, a Microsoft executive testified that the company couldn’t strike a deal to have its Bing search app on Apple’s products, despite offering more favorable terms than Google. Apple eventually renewed its agreement with Google. The trial also revealed that Microsoft’s Surface Duo smartphone had to use Google search to license the Android mobile operating system, limiting its ability to use Bing.
Nadella, who played a pivotal role in the development of Bing, sees search as a significant software category. He acknowledged that Microsoft has a relatively low market share in search but remains committed to it as a software category where they can make meaningful contributions.
While Bing has made progress on desktop computers, it still lags on mobile devices where Google dominates. In the past, Microsoft even explored the possibility of selling Bing to Apple, a move that could have replaced Google as the default search option on Apple’s devices, but this potential deal never materialized.