Bloomberg, citing relevant news sources, reports that Microsoft had previously engaged in discussions with Apple in 2020 to propose a business partnership involving its search engine, Bing. Representatives from Microsoft negotiated this with Eddy Cue, the head of Apple’s Services division. However, it should be noted that these discussions were only preliminary considerations and have not been revisited by either party since.
The report indicates that the primary reason Apple has not shown interest in this proposal is due to its existing agreement with Google, which makes Google Search the default option on all Apple devices. Google pays a significant amount to Apple each year for this privilege, with figures in 2020 revealing payments in the range of 4 to 7 billion dollars annually.
Apple had previously used Bing as the default search engine for Siri and Spotlight on iOS 7 in 2013, but the company switched back to Google in 2017 after negotiating additional benefits. However, Bing still remains as an alternative search option that users can choose as their default setting in the device’s settings.
Earlier this week, Eddy Cue testified as a witness in the antitrust case filed against Google by the U.S. Department of Justice. During the trial, Cue highlighted that using Google Search was the best available option for Apple’s devices at that time.
TLDR: Bloomberg reports that Microsoft had discussions with Apple in 2020 about a potential partnership involving Bing, but Apple did not show continued interest due to its existing agreement with Google. Apple currently uses Google Search as the default option on its devices, which brings in billions of dollars in annual payments. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Services division head, recently testified in a antitrust case against Google and emphasized the benefits of using Google Search on Apple devices.