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 Microsoft was considering selling its Bing search engine to iPhone maker Apple around 2020, a deal that would have replaced Google with Bing as the default search engine on all Apple devices including iPhones, Macs, iPads etc, reported Bloomberg.

Also Read| Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to testify in Google antitrust case on Monday. Here’s what you should know

The report further notes that Microsoft executives even met with Apple services chief Eddy Cue and discussed the possibility of Apple acquiring Bing.  Cue has been responsible for stitching together Apple’s current deal with Alphabet which makes Google the default search engine on all Apple devices. 

However, the report notes that talks between Apple and Microsoft were exploratory and they never reached an advanced stage. It also noted that money generated by Apple on the deal with Google could be one of the reasons for the Cupertino-based company for declining to acquire bing. Apple reportedly also had doubts if Bing could compete with Google in quality and features.

Partnership between Google and Apple: 

Google was first used as the default search engine in Apple’s Safari browser back in 2002 and since then the deal has been revised many times. According to US Department of Justice data quoted by Bloomberg, Apple collected around $4 billion to $7 billion from the agreement between two companies by 2020.

Also Read| Apple defends decision to set Google as default search engine on iPhones, Macs, says ‘no viable alternative’

Notably, Apple had used Bing as the default web search engine inside Siri and Spotlight between 2013 and 2017 before going back to Google with an updated revenue-sharing agreement. 

Recently, Microsoft’s advertising and web services chief, Mikhail Parakhin testified during the Google antitrust trial that Apple never seriously considered switching to Bing as the default search engine for iPhones. He further said,  “Apple is making more money on Bing existing than Bing does…We are always trying to convince Apple to use our search engine”

Google is being sued by the US Justice Department over allegations that the tech giant smothered over the competition by paying companies like Apple, Verizon and others in order to make its search engine the first that users see when they open their devices

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Updated: 29 Sep 2023, 09:54 AM IST

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