Microsoft Begged Apple to Adopt Bing as Safari's Default Search Engine

Microsoft repeatedly attempted to persuade Apple to switch to Bing as the default search engine for Safari or even buy it outright, it has emerged.

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The information was disclosed in documents as part of Google's ongoing antitrust case against the U.S. Justice Department (via CNBC). According to the filings, Microsoft approached Apple in 2009, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2020, proposing that Bing should replace Google as the default search engine in Safari.

Apple consistently declined these offers, citing concerns over Bing's search quality relative to Google's. The documents reveal that in 2018 Microsoft not only suggested making Bing the default search engine but also offered to sell Bing to Apple or establish a joint venture around the search engine. These proposals were similarly turned down by Apple.

The court filings provide insight into Apple's decision-making process, highlighting the company's evaluation of Bing's capabilities against Google's. Eddy Cue, Apple's Senior Vice President of Services, is quoted in the filings expressing skepticism about Bing's search quality and Microsoft's investment in search technology.

Google pays billions of dollars to remain the default search engine on Apple devices. Google argues that Microsoft's repeated pitches to Apple demonstrate the competitive nature of the search engine market, countering allegations that Google holds a monopoly in web search advertising.

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Top Rated Comments

chrono1081 Avatar
20 weeks ago
I wonder if Apple will change its tune after the horrid results Google has been giving as of late. Bing has always been far better at media searches (yes, including those media searches) and lately Bings results have been a lot better than Googles.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HobeSoundDarryl Avatar
20 weeks ago
I believe the final paragraph says it all:
* [Apple] Roll your own SE and NOT get billions of dollars
* Buy Bing and NOT get billions of dollars
* Switch to any other SE and NOT get billions of dollars
* Stick with Google and get billions of dollars

I wonder if they picked a number out of a hat or spun the bottle, after what I assume was weeks of contentious debate to have to find somewhere to store those billions if they went with #4. ;)
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boswald Avatar
20 weeks ago
Nobody wants Bing. Not even Microsoft. It would be sad if it wasn’t so hilarious!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coffeemilktea Avatar
20 weeks ago
In an ironic twist, Bing may actually be the superior search engine now. Whether this is because Bing has genuinely gotten a lot better (all those AI advancements must count for something), or whether it's because Google has gotten so much worse... well, who knows. :p

(okay, but seriously, why are Google search results so bad these days? ?)
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gleepskip Avatar
20 weeks ago

They also begged me, what a coincidence.
I think this thread is going to be full of people giving their own experiences being approached by Microsoft to buy Bing from them.

When they approached my family, unfortunately I had just bought groceries and, with the high food prices lately, I was unable to afford buying Bing at that time. It's too bad; it's been a lifelong dream to own a mediocre search engine.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cicalinarrot Avatar
20 weeks ago
They also begged me, what a coincidence.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)