Microsoft’s bid to persuade Apple to acquire Bing ends in failure

Title: Apple’s Search Engine Dilemma: The Unsuccessful Bid to Acquire Bing by Microsoft

In 2020, the tech world buzzed with rumors of a potential seismic shift as executives from Microsoft and Apple came together to discuss the possible sale of Bing. However, a recent Bloomberg report unveiled that these discussions remained merely exploratory, failing to progress further. Eddy Cue, a key figure at Apple, participated in these talks, but it seemed that the idea did not capture the serious attention of Apple’s top leadership.

Amid the backdrop of an ongoing antitrust suit against Google by the FTC, new revelations emerged suggesting that Apple has not actively pursued the replacement of Google as the default search engine on iPhones. Instead, Microsoft alleged that Apple brought up this scenario primarily as a negotiating tactic to secure a higher payment from Google for its continued position. Mikhail Parakhin of Microsoft stated in the US District Court, “It is no secret that Apple is making more money on Bing’s existence than Bing does.”

The lucrative partnership between Apple and Google has been a cornerstone in maintaining the existing order. However, concerns were raised about Bing’s ability to rival Google in terms of quality and functionality. Eddy Cue emphasized in his testimony that there was no viable alternative to Google at the time of the initial deal and none has emerged since.

The revenue from Apple and Google’s arrangement is estimated to surpass $20 billion annually for Apple. Despite the accessibility of switching the default search engine on iPhones, consumer behavior suggests a strong inclination towards default settings.

While Bing had opportunities to expand its reach, including being the default for Siri and Spotlight searches for years, Apple never fully embraced a drastic change. Even high-level meetings between Tim Cook and Satya Nadella in 2016 failed to catalyze a significant shift. The extension of the Apple-Google deal in 2021 hinted that Microsoft’s efforts in the previous year aimed to disrupt these renewal plans.

In the end, Microsoft’s endeavor to persuade Apple to acquire Bing fell short of its goal, leaving the search engine dilemma unresolved in the tech industry.

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