Rumor: Microsoft to sell Bing to Facebook

Earlier this month, rumors hit the Internet that Facebook was trying to develop better search features for its users, including creating a dedicated search programming team headed up by a former Google team member. Now a new and rather outrageous rumor has hit the Internet that claims Microsoft might be willing to sell off its Bing search division to Facebook.

Barrons reports that an editor for the cable TV business channel CNBC said on Thursday that Microsoft was considering a sale of Bing to Facebook, in exchange for Microsoft acquiring more of Facebook's stock (Microsoft already owns a 1.6 percent share of Facebook). If such a deal is made, the story claimed it would happen after Facebook launches its public stock offering, which is likely to happen this May.

So far, neither Microsoft nor Facebook have commented on this new rumor. However, at least one financial analyst, Rick Sherlund with Nomura Equity Research, claims that if such a deal did take place it would be good for Microsoft, saying, "Investors have not been a fan of that line of business for a long time. They just don't see the rewards."

Bing recently moved past Yahoo to become the number two biggest Internet search provider in the US. Since Bing's technology is also the basis for Yahoo's search engine, that means Bing effectively controls nearly 30 percent of the search market share in the US.

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now, if microsoft kept the voice search, music, vision and local scout buttons when you hit a windows phone search key, but allowed you to switch what the default search engine was, that'd be phenomenal. As much as I want to use bing, I just can't when I search for the nokia lumia 900 images and it gives me zero results.

With FBs 800million or whatever number of members - I'm not sure I get why MSFT would walk away. Surely, the more people using Bing, Bing Maps, etc. the better the accuracy - the better it is for Microsoft. You can't buy users to use your platform - you can buy share in another company.

Would that further mean that FB integration into Bing search results would be lost too? Surely, that's a bad move?

[I work at Microsoft. Opinions/ questions are mine alone and mine alone. I have a life and opinions of my own ]

Sounds like a perfect match for me.

I'd advice to merge all seach, advertising and news/information business into Facebook, get some controll of it and integrate ist perfectly into Windows (Phone) 8, Office, Xbox and Live.
MS isn't a hipster/content/advertising company ... that'll Facebook do much better.

Marcus Bastian said,
Sounds like a perfect match for me.

I'd advice to merge all seach, advertising Iand news/information business into Facebook, get some controll of it and integrate ist perfectly into Windows (Phone) 8, Office, Xbox and Live.
MS isn't a hipster/content/advertising company ... that'll Facebook do much better.


You're forgetting that Microsoft is launching their own enhanced profile service with Windows 8. Switching over to Facebook would simply make no strategic sense at any point over the next 2 years. They'd have to collaborate at an unprecedented level to store desktop settings securely with a Facebook account.

No, MS will maintain their own social back-end for a long time, still.

Why would Neowin even bother taking the time to type this? I'm not trolling, legitimately trying to understand.

I guess you guys are serious about this "unprofessional journalism" thing, but it's not journalism and it doesn't look better.

Hell, if i will ever see any kind of FB bull in my live applications I'll find another way to deal with it and drop live applications.

I'm already sick of this...Fb this, fb that. What will it be like? Open up my live mail and see tons of "share this to win" over there? No thanks.

I can see this happening. Just because MS integrates, doesn't mean they couldn't keep it integrated. It could be sold with the proviso that it still be called Bing outside of FB.

Nashy said,
I can see this happening. Just because MS integrates, doesn't mean they couldn't keep it integrated. It could be sold with the proviso that it still be called Bing outside of FB.
If Facebook bought Bing, it would be internal only duh.

Ohh wow.. another reason to click the uninstall button on that crap... cant' stand that it auto loads with a pile load of software and people just don't pay attention. One of the first things I remove when cleaning a machine are tool bars!

sava700 said,
Ohh wow.. another reason to click the uninstall button on that crap... cant' stand that it auto loads with a pile load of software and people just don't pay attention. One of the first things I remove when cleaning a machine are tool bars!

Uninstall what? Bing is a search engine - a web site... there is nothing to install!

IMO, Microsoft should divest anything Facebook-related... FB has only down to go as a direction from a year ago.

Why would Facebook invest money in the ********* search engine, when they could make their own which would be easier than inheriting a ****ty big of code? The ONLY reason Facebook uses Bing, is because Microsoft bough like $150 Million of shares a few years ago.

I don't think they will sell Bing.....but they can sell some stake in Bing for some stake in Facebook. Say 50% of Bing for 2% of Facebook. A better integration and common advertisement business will hit Google's profits badly...

Would be a bit annoying tbh. Bing is integrated into my Xbox and my WP7 device. I don't really want Facebook in on either of those.

what said,
Would be a bit annoying tbh. Bing is integrated into my Xbox and my WP7 device. I don't really want Facebook in on either of those.

Facebook is already integrated into WP7, it's just a choice whether you use it or not.

Enron said,
This will happen after Microsoft sells Xbox to Electronic Arts.

Exactly. This rumor is retarded...just look how Bing is integrated with Xbox + Kinect and you could see this rumor has zero legs.

Source being an editor at CNBC?? How on Earth would he have got hold of such secret information, then? This rumor would have made more sense if the source would have been a plain "anonymous". At least then the guy could have held a position fairly high up in either Facebook or Microsoft. A secondary source for such sensitive matters sounds very suspicious to me.

It seems an very unlikely to be true, sounds a bit more like someone floated this idea somewhere and some cnbc hack heard about it and is tossing it around like it's going somewhere.

My second reaction - oh JHC no, not to company that cares even less about safeguarding info.

knighthawk said,
It seems an very unlikely to be true, sounds a bit more like someone floated this idea somewhere and some cnbc hack heard about it and is tossing it around like it's going somewhere.

My second reaction - oh JHC no, not to company that cares even less about safeguarding info.

Facebook paid $1 Billion to Instagram to keep it out of Google's hands. That is the only reason why Facebook overpaid. I think Facebook is trying to become like Google. The idea doesn't seem so farfetched that they would go for a Search Engine next.

UndergroundWire said,

Facebook paid $1 Billion to Instagram to keep it out of Google's hands. That is the only reason why Facebook overpaid. I think Facebook is trying to become like Google. The idea doesn't seem so farfetched that they would go for a Search Engine next.


There is no need to buy it though to achieve what they may want in search integration, look at yahoo.

FMH said,
Please don't make me change my avatar to Facebook.

I think it's more likely that the two companies are about to strengthen their relationships even more - not a far fetched thought considering the MS research into social search and sharing with so.cl

I do hope this happens! This would mean great things for Facebook users, considering they won't play nice with Google and Google now have Google+, and it may even mean good things for Microsoft users. Come on Microsoft and Facebook; make it happen!

Callum said,
I do hope this happens! This would mean great things for Facebook users, considering they won't play nice with Google and Google now have Google+, and it may even mean good things for Microsoft users. Come on Microsoft and Facebook; make it happen!

I don't see how switching from a company with a good track record for privacy to a company with a terrible track record for privacy is a good thing. Facebook are just as bad as Google when it comes to respecting privacy so it would be terrible news for me if this sale became real.

jakem1 said,

I don't see how switching from a company with a good track record for privacy to a company with a terrible track record for privacy is a good thing. Facebook are just as bad as Google when it comes to respecting privacy so it would be terrible news for me if this sale became real.


I'm referring to it possibly being a good thing in terms of the features and Facebook integration that could be added to Bing. I don't care about the privacy issues a lot of people seem to be bothered about because they don't seem important, to me. As long as I can hide certain information from certain friends, subscribers, and the public, I'm happy, and Facebook allows me to do that.

xiphi said,
If that happens, I'll just go back to using Google full time.

There are other search engines out there . Like Ask.com. There's DuckDuckGo, but that I believe uses Bing for the results (unless I'm wrong).

Before Bing Microsoft was a joke on the internet when it came to search. I personally don't use it but, I don't see after spending all these years trying to break into search why they would sell it.

Randall_Lind said,
Before Bing Microsoft was a joke on the internet when it came to search. I personally don't use it but, I don't see after spending all these years trying to break into search why they would sell it.
Before? you make it sound like it changed? :confused:

Rudy said,
Before? you make it sound like it changed? :confused:

I think he is reffering to microsofts previous attempts at the search market.
I dont even recall what it was, i think LIVE search or something. It was just something i never ever even considered. Bing is a huge improvement, before bing (live search) they were a joke.

calimike said,
M$ throw towel in the ring!

Not sure how many times I see these sorts of comments, but they're a lot.

It's a rumour. Rumour rumour rumour. May be completely false and untrue. I'm sure there's a lot of things at Microsoft HQ going on that we don't know about, so unless you hear it from an official source, don't believe it immediately.

bastones said,

Not sure how many times I see these sorts of comments, but they're a lot.

It's a rumour. Rumour rumour rumour. May be completely false and untrue. I'm sure there's a lot of things at Microsoft HQ going on that we don't know about, so unless you hear it from an official source, don't believe it immediately.

Well, don't think it's easy to get MS-haters not to believe something that is even slightly negative towards MS.

Deviate_X said,
Bing is a huge distraction and microsoft isn't an advertising business

Well Bing is integrated to almost every "Live" application out there and selling it to Facebook? What now when I open up my Live Mail it will start sending me friend requests? Like I said, won't happen.

Plus its not about being an advertising business, if it makes money, it makes money and MS would be happy about it.

FoxieFoxie said,
Bing is a huge part of Windows Phone

Facebook is a big part of windows phone too, they dont need to own it. What is important to realise is that others may be able to do more with search because search is more central to their business

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Won't happen. Thats all I'm going to say.


I think that it could happen. It would hit Google, where it hurts the most.
People wouldn't have to go to two different sites to Socialize or Search Web.

And also, this way they'll counter Google's business model. Google is actively trying to integrate the social and search, and give people one venue for everything. Google Docs and YouTube are also a part of this.

FMH said,


I think that it could happen. It would hit Google, where it hurts the most.
People wouldn't have to go to two different sites to Socialize or Search Web.

If that is the case then why isn't Google+ #1? I mean it is the reverse but it should be true if we use your argument.. Google is the biggest search engine in the world with a market share of 90% or so, why are people using Facebook to socialize when they can do it at Google+ and simultaneously search the web?

MindTrickz said,

If that is the case then why isn't Google+ #1? I mean it is the reverse but it should be true if we use your argument.. Google is the biggest search engine in the world with a market share of 90% or so, why are people using Facebook to socialize when they can do it at Google+ and simultaneously search the web?

Google+ is growing. Fast.

And as it improves and comes out of beta, more people will move to Google+.
Bing seems to be the perfect weapon to stop this from happening.

And another proof that this is the direction socialsphere is going to take, is in Google. They are already doing it!
By pushing the Google Plus down the throats of people who use Gmail/Search/YouTube.

And with Facebook, we will soon see it pushing the Search, throught it's social network.


Because, both of them are the biggest enemies of each other. And both are after each other's business model.

I don't use either but doesn't Google auto enroll in Google+ meaning it might be growing fast, but isn't necessarily being used by most of those new enrolls? I have several Google accounts and have never used it once.

why is that one service should destroy other service... Facebook destroy google+ Google search destroy Bing!! why can all grow and the consumers are happy... because you like one service and hate other??
Bing hurting Google is never going to happen even if facebook buys bing..
The problem is facebook will never make bing as a separate service but integrated to Facebook so it wont never be a competition.

Hahaiah said,
I don't use either but doesn't Google auto enroll in Google+ meaning it might be growing fast, but isn't necessarily being used by most of those new enrolls? I have several Google accounts and have never used it once.

Using 2 Gmail accounts, used to use one of them for Google+, not using it now, there's nothing special there that isn't in Facebook.

Hahaiah said,
I don't use either but doesn't Google auto enroll in Google+ meaning it might be growing fast, but isn't necessarily being used by most of those new enrolls? I have several Google accounts and have never used it once.

Nope... Google+ wont auto enroll.... if it auto enroll there would be at least 500 million accounts now... You have to go to google+ ,enroll and accept the terms and condition to even create an account for G+

FMH said,

Google+ is growing. Fast.

Yeah sure...cough cough cough. Google+ is so stupid! I set up the account, and recruited my friends/family to join(they did). But so far, none of my family and friends been actively using Google+. They abandoned using it after 2 weeks (it's now 8 months with no activities)

Jaybonaut said,

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA XD oh please...

It has over 120 million users, though I know these figures are blown up by the marketing department.
But a product advertised on http://www.Google.com, has a very high chance of success.

FMH said,


I think that it could happen. It would hit Google, where it hurts the most.
People wouldn't have to go to two different sites to Socialize or Search Web.

It doesn't feel right to go to a social networking site to search the web. Won't happen.

Jarrichvdv said,

It doesn't feel right to go to a social networking site to search the web. Won't happen.

May be. But that isn't stopping Google from doing it.

alwaysonacoffebreak said,
Won't happen. Thats all I'm going to say.

Agreed. This has to be the most ridiculous rumor I've ever heard. This will never, ever happen.