Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is set to testify today, October 2nd, as part of the US Justice Department’s antitrust trial against Google. The Department of Justice alleges that Google illegally paid $10 billion annually to smartphone makers and wireless carriers to secure its position as the default search engine on their devices, thereby gaining a significant advantage in the advertising market.
The DOJ believes that Alphabet Inc.’s search division of unlawfully maintaining a monopoly by engaging in anti-competitive practices, Bloomberg reported.
Google has vehemently denied these allegations.
Now, the DOJ aims to strengthen its case by presenting testimonies from Nadella and other Microsoft executives to demonstrate the formidable challenge of challenging Google’s dominance in the search market, even for a company of Microsoft’s size and resources.
During the trial, Nadella will be questioned about Microsoft’s efforts to expand the reach of their browser and search engine, Edge and Bing, respectively. A week prior, Microsoft’s business development executive, Jonathan Tinter, revealed that the company failed to strike a deal with Apple to include the Bing search app on their products.
Despite offering more favorable terms than Google and being prepared to incur significant financial losses, Microsoft couldn’t convince Apple to partner with them.
Tinter further explained that Google required Microsoft to feature a Google search widget on the main screen of its Surface Duo smartphone in exchange for licensing the Android operating system. This demand disregarded Microsoft’s preference to use its search engine, Bing.
Furthermore, Google prohibited Microsoft from instructing users on how to switch their default search engine to Bing. Ultimately, Apple renewed its agreement with Google, leaving the software giant disadvantaged.
Tinter also highlighted that Microsoft’s Surface Duo smartphone was compelled to use Google Search to license the Android OS, thus preventing the company from utilizing Bing on its own devices.
The Surface Duo, priced at $1,400, debuted in August 2020 but struggled to gain traction. Within months, Microsoft was already offering discounts on the product due to poor sales performance.
While Bing has had some success on desktop computers, largely thanks to integration with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and later Edge browser, it has failed to gain significant market share on mobile devices where Google dominates.
We’ll closely monitor the development and update you promptly with any new information that comes our way.