Apple thought about buying Bing from Microsoft in 2020, according to insiders. This revelation has emerged amidst Google’s ongoing battle with a massive antitrust lawsuit, shedding light on an alternate reality where the dynamics of search engines could have been drastically different.
Citing confidential sources, Bloomberg reported that high-level discussions took place between representatives of Apple and Microsoft in 2020. The primary objective of these talks was to explore the possibility of Apple assuming control of Bing through an acquisition. Eddy Cue, Apple’s esteemed services chief and the mastermind behind securing Google as the default search engine on iPhones, reportedly engaged in negotiations with Microsoft executives.
While these discussions were exploratory in nature and did not culminate in any definitive action, they nevertheless provide a fascinating glimpse into what might have been. The timing of this revelation is particularly intriguing, as it coincides with Google’s ongoing antitrust case. The Department of Justice has thrown its weight behind claims that Google’s dominant position in the search engine market is bolstered by hefty payments made to tech giants like Apple, Samsung, and Mozilla.
These payments have led to Google becoming the premier search engine on their respective devices and browsers. The Department contends that these practices stifle competition, discouraging other tech companies from venturing into the search engine arena due to the immense financial resources required to compete.
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Bing has often been the underdog of the search engine realm, sometimes considered a punchline in the industry. The notion of an iPhone featuring Bing as its default search engine appeared, in many ways, as a curious blend of groundbreaking technology and a search engine struggling to maintain relevance, at least as of 2020.
However, Bing had seen a resurgence in attention and traffic, thanks to Microsoft’s substantial investments in integrating OpenAI’s technology into its products. This collaboration, though promising, has not been without its challenges. Notably, Microsoft doesn’t possess outright ownership of OpenAI but has provided cloud computing infrastructure in exchange for a significant share of profits until the tech startup reimburses Microsoft’s investment.
As we ponder this tantalizing “what if” scenario, it becomes evident that the tech world’s ever-shifting dynamics and potential mergers and acquisitions continue to captivate both industry insiders and the wider public. While the idea of Bing becoming Apple’s search engine may remain a tantalizing glimpse into an alternate reality, it underscores the intricate web of negotiations, competition, and innovation that defines the world of technology.
In this era of rapid technological advancement, even the most unconventional alliances and acquisitions are not beyond the realm of possibility, making the tech industry a perpetual source of excitement and intrigue.