Apple Deal Responsible for Google's Dominance in Search, Says Microsoft CEO

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella today said that he believes the search engine deal between Apple and Google has made it impossible for other search engines like Bing to compete (via The Wall Street Journal). With Google as the default search engine on Safari on all Apple devices, people become accustomed to using it, Nadella explained in testimony he gave during the ongoing Google vs. U.S. Department of Justice antitrust trial.

microsoft bing chatgpt
"You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, and you search on Google," said Nadella. "With that level of habit forming, the only way to change is by changing defaults." Nadella went on to say that Google is able to use its ~90 percent market share to improve search results, further reinforcing its monopoly. He said that it's "bogus" that there is choice in the search engine market.

Microsoft has been attempting to chip market share away from Google by adding OpenAI's chatbot technology to Bing, but Nadella says it is unclear how much AI can reshape the existing market because Google's distribution advantage doesn't go away. "I worry a lot about that," he said. "Even in spite of my enthusiasm that there is a new angle with AI, this vicious cycle that I'm trapped in could become even more vicious because the defaults get reinforced."

Last week, iTunes chief Eddy Cue testified in the trial and explained that Apple opts for Google as the default search engine on its devices because the company has "always thought it was the best." Google does pay Apple billions of dollars per year to remain the default search engine, though Cue claimed there is no valid alternative.

Back in 2020, Microsoft approached Apple and offered up Bing as a potential acquisition target, but talks between Microsoft execs and ‌Eddy Cue‌ did not progress, both because of the money Apple gets from Google and concerns that Bing would not be able to compete with Google Search.

Nadella is likely correct that it would be difficult at this point for any search engine to truly compete with Google, especially as long as Google remains the default search engine on Apple devices. The exception might be if Apple decides to develop its own search engine at some point.

In Sunday's edition of the Power On newsletter, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reiterated rumors that Apple has considered creating its own search engine. Such a solution would be able to provide better privacy and deeper integration with Siri and Spotlight, and Apple has already developed search tools that are used in apps like the App Store and Apple TV.

Apple's AI chief John Giannandrea heads up a search team within Apple, and according to Gurman, that team has created a next-generation search engine for Apple apps. Codenamed "Pegasus," the search technology is able to provide more accurate results. While it is already used in some Apple apps, Apple will be expanding it to additional apps, such as the ‌App Store‌.

What Apple has now does not match the Google search engine, but Gurman argues that Apple could use it as the backbone for a full search engine in the future.

There are still a few more weeks to go in the antitrust trial, and it is not yet clear what the outcome will be. If lawmakers target the lucrative deal between Apple and Google, the billions of dollars that Apple will lose could serve as a catalyst for Apple to further pursue its own search engine option.

Top Rated Comments

jayducharme Avatar
9 weeks ago
It also helps when you produce a really good comprehensive search engine.
Score: 56 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Dingau Avatar
9 weeks ago
Lol. Microsoft should stop with showing a hundred pop-ups when downloading Chrome on Windows and setting it as a default browser. Hypocrites!
Score: 39 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HiRez Avatar
9 weeks ago
But I don't understand, surely all those Microsoft phones have Bing as the default search engine. Oh wait...
Score: 32 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dschulian Avatar
9 weeks ago
He should stop complaining and instead invest more time, money and energy in improving the product than pointing fingers at Apple.

I changed my defaults. But nowadays it’s DuckDuckGo. Using it for years now.
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
britboyj Avatar
9 weeks ago
Google had already achieved search dominance by the time the iPhone launched. It was already a verb.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
vertsix Avatar
9 weeks ago
I would be inclined to use Bing if it wasn't a royal piece of ****, Satya.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.2 Will Add These 12 New Features to Your iPhone

Friday December 1, 2023 12:19 pm PST by
iOS 17.2 has been in beta testing for over a month, and it should be released to all users in a few more weeks. The software update includes many new features and changes for iPhones, including the dozen that we have highlighted below. iOS 17.2 is expected to be released to the public in mid-December. To learn about even more features coming in the update, check out our full list. Journal ...
iOS 17

28 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in December's iOS 17.2 Update

Friday December 1, 2023 2:57 am PST by
Apple made the first beta of iOS 17.2 available to developers in October. Since then we've seen three more betas, and with each iteration Apple continues to add more new features and changes, many of which users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 28 new things that are coming to your iPhone when the finalized version is publicly released this December. 1. Help...
anker new xmas 1

Anker's Cyber Week Sale Enters Final Days With Up to 60% Off Sitewide

Friday December 1, 2023 12:05 pm PST by
Anker's Black Friday/Cyber Week event is entering its final days this weekend, and it's still offering up to 60 percent off sitewide. There are also a few "mystery boxes" that can include hundreds of dollars in savings, if you're willing to risk not knowing what you're buying ahead of time. All of these sales will end on December 3. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Anker. When you...
iOS 17

Apple Releases iOS 17.1.2 With Security Fixes

Thursday November 30, 2023 10:12 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2, small updates to the iOS 17 and iPadOS 17 operating systems that Apple introduced in September. iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2 come a few weeks after the release of iOS 17.1.1, another bug fix update. iOS 17.1.2 and iPadOS 17.1.2 can be downloaded on eligible iPhones and iPads over-the-air by going to Settings > General > Software Update....
iPhone 16 Mock Header Updated 1

iPhone 16 to Include Action Button Across Entire Lineup

Thursday November 30, 2023 4:08 pm PST by
The release of the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max saw the introduction of an entirely new user-configurable button known as the Action button, and now, MacRumors has seen extensive evidence confirming Apple is planning to include the Action button on the entire iPhone 16 range. Designs and plans for the Action button date back to at least 2021, as the button was intended for release alongside hapt...
General Apps Messages

Green Bubbles on iPhone to Gain These 7 New Features Next Year

Thursday November 30, 2023 9:00 am PST by
Earlier this month, Apple announced that it will finally support RCS in the Messages app on the iPhone starting later next year. This change will result in several improvements to the messaging experience between iPhones and Android devices. RCS will become the new default standard for messaging between iPhones and Android devices, but these conversations will still have green bubbles like...
top stories 2dec2023

Top Stories: iOS 17.1.2 Released, NameDrop Misinformation, and More

Saturday December 2, 2023 6:00 am PST by
Apple employees are back to work following a Thanksgiving break, and that means this week saw a number of new operating system updates for both public release and beta testing. This week also saw some misinformation about Apple's new NameDrop feature making the rounds, while Apple and Goldman Sachs appear to be on the verge of a break-up in their Apple Card and savings account partnership,...
paramount plus logo

Apple and Paramount Considering Discounted TV+ Streaming Bundle

Friday December 1, 2023 4:40 am PST by
Apple and Paramount have discussed bundling their TV streaming services at a discount, according to a new report by The Wall Street Journal. The companies have talked about offering a combination of Paramount+ and Apple TV+ that would cost less than subscribing to both services separately, according to people familiar with the discussions. The discussions are in their early stages, and it is ...