Why Did Apple Refuse To Buy Bing In 2022?


One of the most popular search engines today is the Bing search engine. Earlier this year, the company updated its search engine with generative AI. Furthermore, with heavy investments in OpenAI, using their latest AI model, Microsoft can put their search engine back in the spotlight.

The company first launched the Bing search engine in 2009, and Bing currently accounts for less than 10% of searches. Now, Bing’s integration with AI is revolutionizing the industry, and Microsoft is accelerating the integration of Bing into all its products and services. Despite having a small market share compared to Google, it has prevented Microsoft from reaching a larger audience, including by trying to sell its search business to Apple.

Microsoft wants to change Apple’s search engine with Bing

In 2020, Microsoft executives discussed with Apple’s Senior Vice President of Services, Eddy Cue, the sale of Bing to Apple as a Google replacement. This is not new. Over the years, Microsoft has discussed other ways to make Bing the preferred option for Apple devices. Testimony in the ongoing FTC antitrust case against Google shows that Apple paid little attention to replacing Google as the default search engine for the iPhone.

Apple is paid by Google’s search engine to be the default search engine in Apple’s operating system. However, talks between Microsoft and Apple have yet to be at an advanced stage, although Apple was considering getting more money from Google to retain its place. It’s no secret that Apple makes more money from Google’s existing search engine than Bing.

In 2016, during the DOJ’s antitrust trial against Google, the search engine giant stated that it was investing billions of dollars in Apple to make Bing the default search engine in Safari. During that meeting, the CEO of Apple and the CEO of Microsoft met. The agreement between Apple and Google is also a matter before the US Department of Justice, because they are accused of abusing their position in the search market. The US government accuses Google of paying Apple billions to secure privileged placement on the iPhone and other devices.

Apple and Microsoft have had other discussions over the years about making Bing the preferred choice on Apple devices. Apple used Bing as the default search engine for Siri and Spotlight between 2013 and 2017. In 2013, Microsoft formed a search partnership with Apple to use Bing for Siri and Spotlight searches, but in 2017 Apple replaced Bing with Google.

Why does Microsoft want to sell Bing last year, before the new Bing?

It’s not that difficult to understand. They have less than 10% of the search market share, and Microsoft’s attempt to sell Bing to Apple is based on the value Apple could get from Bing. Sure, Microsoft dominates the computer market, but Apple and Google control the mobile market. However, Google will not prioritize Bing over its search engine.

By selling Bing to Apple, Microsoft could offer a mature and solid search engine that could compete with Google by integrating it into Safari. Apple has millions of Macs, iPads and iPhones, and Apple could offer Bing as the browser option of choice. However, Apple saw no value in it and preferred to take less risk.

During that time, there was no valid alternative to Google, and Apple was concerned about Bing’s ability to compete with Google in terms of quality and capabilities. Apple will reportedly receive $20 billion annually as part of a deal that will secure Google’s position as the default search engine on iOS and iPadOS.

Reasons why Apple didn’t buy Bing

Apple had the opportunity to buy Bing in 2020, but declined for several reasons. By acquiring Bing, Apple could reduce its dependence on Google and potentially replace Google as the default search engine on Apple devices.

  • Apple receives huge sums of money for keeping Google as the default search engine.
  • Bing’s quality and data did not match Google’s.

Yes, Bing’s quality and data are less reliable than Google’s. This is why Microsoft’s Bing is less used. Google’s search engine, on the other hand, provides advance information and manages the ranking of pages while continuously updating its algorithms to provide better search results.

Statistic: Market share of leading desktop search engines worldwide from January 2015 to July 2023 |  Statistical
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During the case before the US Department of Justice, Apple stated that they chose Google because it is the best search option available, and not because of the money they received. This indicates that Bing’s technology is the same as Google’s.

So even if Apple were to buy Bing, they would have to put effort and investment into improving its quality. The quality of Bing’s search engine data and pages could be better and more reliable, especially for beginners. Plus, Apple takes a big paycheck for making Google their default search engine, so why would they replace it with Bing?

This year, Microsoft made a comeback with Bing, which is now stronger and may not be sold. This is because Microsoft Bing is tightly integrated with Windows and Edge. To drive revenue from Bing, the company also announced the Enterprise edition of Bing with commercial data protection.

Right now, Microsoft’s new Bing chatbot is much more reliable and better in terms of AI capabilities. Despite Google’s dominance in search, Microsoft can reinvigorate the search industry with the upgraded Bing, which offers multiple features such as image generation, coding, math problem solving and more. Google is still trying to integrate AI into its search engine and workspace.

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