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Newly revealed court papers show Google's claim that Microsoft offered to sell Bing to Apple

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Back in September 2023, a report from Bloomberg claimed, via unnamed sources, that Microsoft once approached Apple with an offer to sell its Bing search division to the folks in Cupertino in 2020. Now newly unsealed court documents seems to corroborate some parts of that story.

CNBC reports that the court documents that were revealed late on Friday show Google's claims that Microsoft offered to sell Bing to Apple in 2018. Microsoft also allegedly proposed a secondary plan where the company and Apple would launch a joint venture with Bing.

The court documents included quotes from Eddy Cue, who was then Apple’s senior vice president of services. He stated that he was unimpressed with the search quality for Bing, and Microsoft's own investment in the division. The filing has Cue stating:

They weren’t investing at any level comparable to Google or to what Microsoft could invest in. And their advertising organization and how they monetize was not very good either.

The court filing also shows Apple CEO Tim Cook sending an email to his company's executives about its opinions on Bing, but the filing redacted Cook's specific comments.

The new filing became unlocked as part of Google's antitrust court cast against the US Department of Justice. The DOJ claims Google has a monopoly in the online search industry. Google's court filings are an attempt by the company to show that there is indeed competition with Bing.

The documents from Google also claim Microsoft tried a number of times over the years to get Apple to replace Google Seach as the default search engine for Apple's Safari web browser. Apple reportedly rejected all of those proposals from Microsoft. Bing was used by Apple as the search engine for its Siri digital assistant from 2013 to 2017. However Apple later decided to switch to Google Search as the default for Siri.

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