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How Microsoft Nearly Sold Bing to Apple as Google Replacement

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By Abi Gibson - - 5 Mins Read
Apple Services Chief, Eddie Cue during an interview
Apples's VP of Services, Eddie Cue | Recode

What if you were told that there was a time when Microsoft almost sold Bing's search engine to Apple so they could compete with Google? That's a bold statement.


Well, it did happen as Microsoft proved very serious in initiating contacts with Apple representatives to sell their flagship product, Bing, to Apple. In 2020, Microsoft Corp was in discussion with Apple to create a deal that would replace Google as the default browser for iPhone devices.


According to reports from Bloomberg, those with good knowledge of the matter provided information regarding this new development. Had Apple agreed to the deal, it would have pushed Google out and replaced it with Bing. 

How Did This Happen? 

There are reports that Microsoft Corp and Apple representatives met to discuss a possible deal. The discussion focused on Apple's services chief, Eddy Cue, who was instrumental in securing the current agreement between Apple and Google.


Apple Services Chief, Eddie Cue during an interview
Apple's VP of Services, Eddie Cue | Recode


However, the one with Microsoft Corp didn't have any success. According to Apple's services chief, Eddy Cue, those representing Microsoft Corp had asked to remain anonymous as the discussions were confidential. Furthermore, Cue explained that their talks with Microsoft Corp were only exploratory. In other words, it never made it to the following discussion stage. 


Apple had shown their disinterest in the proposed deal, causing Microsoft Corp to walk away from further discussions. Before this particular discussion, there had been many discussions between the two parties to make Bing the default browser of Apple devices.


However, Apple was keen to stick with Google, even signing bigger deals with each other as the years progressed. Google spends a lot of money to keep its position as the number 1 in the default option in Apple devices.


According to the details, they spend billions of dollars on Apple to remain as their default search engine. When Apple and Microsoft Corp representatives were asked for their comments on the latest development, they declined.

The Dealbreaker

This topic has gained global attention due to an ongoing legal case involving Google, Apple, and the United States. During the proceedings, it was revealed that there had been discussions about making Bing the default browser for the tech giant.


The US Department of Justice is in a very fierce battle with Google. The bone of contention in this new legal fight is that there are accusations from Google that they are abusing their default browser position. During the trial, Apple and Bing were called up to testify about the previous discussions to make them the default browser. 

The deal between Apple and Google has gone on for many decades. The first contract between the two was when Apple released its first Mac web browser. 


In 2002, Google became the default search engine for the browsing software of Apple through a deal. Since then, the two parties have continued to make new deals. These new deals have been extremely lucrative for Apple, allowing them to collect between $4 to $7 billion annually from Google.