Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Has a Few Thoughts About Google Search

The government’s antitrust trial against Google finished out its second week with testimony from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who argued that Google’s search dominance is tied to the amount of data it processes as more and more people use Google, giving it a massive advantage when building better search algorithms, according to The Verge.

Earlier in the week, Eddy Cue, Apple’s SVP of Services, testified about a meeting with Microsoft execs in 2020 to discuss the possibility of Apple buying Bing. Nadella acknowledged that Apple used the Bing discussions primarily as a bargaining chip to get a better deal out of Google.

“Let’s say Bing exited the market,” Nadella said, according to CNN. “You think Google would keep paying [Apple]?” If Apple switched from Google to Bing as the default search engine on iPhones, it would be a “game changer” because it would give Microsoft so much new data to work with, and put Bing in front of more eyeballs, Nadella said.

The Microsoft CEO also threw some fuel onto the fire by stating that Google wouldn’t be in its current position if Microsoft hadn’t lost its own antitrust battle back in the late 1990s.

As The Verge notes, Google lawyers used Microsoft’s lower search share with Bing as an indication that Google is simply the better option. Nadella, however, said “defaults are the only thing that matter,” and argued that most people don’t switch defaults, even if it’s easy.

On AI, Microsoft’s CEO discussed how publishers are considering giving Google exclusive access to content to train its AI models, and are asking Bing to match the price Google is asking for exclusivity for that data. Such deals are a nightmare scenario for the future of AI, he said, because Google will again obtain a huge advantage, just like it has with search.

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