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Microsoft was willing to lose billions and ditch Bing name to secure Apple search deal

The Department of Justice's (DOJ) antitrust trial against Google is underway, and one of the first witnesses to take the stand was Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. During his testimony, Nadella detailed his company’s dedication to become Apple’s default search engine.

As reported by The Verge, Nadella stated that he was prepared to give Apple all of the economic upside of a search deal if it made Bing the default. Nadella said such an agreement would cost Microsoft as much as $15 billion a year.

He suggested it’s more about being competitive and less about the money. “We needed to be less greedy and more competitive,” Nadella stated.

Nadella was even ready to hide the Bing name in Apple users' search engines and respect any of the company's privacy wishes, reports The Verge. Currently, Google is the default search engine on Apple devices, and the former apparently pays the latter billions of dollars to maintain that arrangement.

Nadella said he has tried to replace Google as Apple’s default search engine every year since he became CEO in 2014, as reported by Bloomberg. Although that hasn't happened yet, a report revealed Bing may soon replace Google as Firefox's default search engine.

Earlier in the hearing, Nadella also mentioned that Microsoft has spent around $100 billion to build and develop its Bing search engine. He noted the Redmond-based Microsoft believes it can contribute to the internet search industry, despite lagging behind Google in terms of market share.

I see search or internet search as the largest software category out there. We are a very, very low share player. But we continue to persist in it because we think of it as a software category we can contribute to.

He also addressed Google's market dominance, remarking, "You wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, and your instinct is to search on Google." He further emphasized Microsoft's challenge, stating, "We're competing against someone who holds a 97% share."

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