Microsoft may be all at the moment in with its Bing search engine now, thanks to its work on the Bing Chat AI service. However, a new report claims that just a few years ago, Microsoft was in early talks with Apple about selling off Bing to the folks in Cupertino, California.
A story from Bloomberg, citing unnamed sources, claims that in 2020, Microsoft representatives held meetings with Apple's then Services VP Eddy Cue, with Microsoft proposing that Apple buy the Bing division.
However, the talks reportedly never went beyond the exploratory stage. The story claims that Apple had a few reasons for not going through with such a deal. One was that Apple was apparently very happy with the revenue it got from Google with its search engine as the default on Apple's devices like the iPhone.
According to the story, another reason the talks didn't move forward was that Apple "also had concerns about Bing’s ability to compete with Google in quality and capabilities."
That was not always the case. In 2013, Apple entered into an agreement with Microsoft to have its Bing search engine set up as the default for its Siri digital assistant. However, that agreement didn't last long. In 2017, Apple switched to Google Search as the default for Siri. That was also the case for Spotlight for Mac, and Search inside iOS.
In another report from Bloomberg today as part of its coverage of the current Google antitrust trial, it was revealed that in 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss having Bing become the default search engine for Apple's Safari browser. Those talks went nowhere, as did another series of talks in 2018 when Microsoft discussed switching from Google to Bing on Apple devices outside the United States.