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Microsoft was ready to drop Bing for Apple search deal: Satya Nadella makes shocking claims at Google antitrust trial

Microsoft chief Satya Nadella testified against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, in a landmark antitrust trial against the tech giant. Nadella testified as a witness for the US Justice Department.
The justice department has alleged that Google has abused the market dominance of its search engine to kill competition and innovation at the expense of consumers. Google currently has nearly 90 percent of the search market.
It has been argued that Google illegally paid $10 billion annually to companies like Apple and wireless carriers like AT&T to make it the default search engine in their devices, in order to stay on top.
Nadella claimed that Google had an arrangement with Apple, due to which Microsoft could never compete with the search giant.
“You can call it popular, but to me it’s dominant,” Nadella said during cross-examination.
He alleged that unfair practices by Google thwarted Microsoft’s Bing and maintained its dominance as a search engine.
“We are one of the alternatives but we’re not the default,” Nadella said.
He said that Microsoft was ready to go to the length of dropping its search engine’s Bing brand on Apple devices just to get a seat on board with the iPhone maker.
Getting that spot of default search engine would have been “game-changing”, he said.
“Whomever they choose, they king-make.”
At a time when tech giants are engaged in fierce competition over artificial intelligence, Nadella complained that Google was locking up content with expensive and exclusive deals with publishers to keep vast troves of content for itself to train AI.
“When I am meeting with publishers now, they say Google’s going to write this check and it’s exclusive and you have to match it,” he said.
The Microsoft chief said he was worried that Google would use its dominance to force content providers that have an important role to play in training generative AI models.