Satya Nadella slams Google dominance in antitrust trial, blames Apple deals too
As the landmark US antitrust trial against Google continues, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella makes shocking statements on what led to Google’s dominance in the Search segment.
The first major antitrust trial in the US since the Microsoft case in 1998 is currently ongoing to determine whether Google has too much control over its customers to keep them away from traditional competitors and new-age startup rivals. On Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took the stand as the star witness for the US government. In his testimony, Nadella highlighted that multiple deals with Apple, and other tech companies have led to the dominance of Google, particularly in the Search segment.
Highlighting Google Search as the “largest software category out there by far”, Nadella explained why Microsoft was competing with Google in that space with its Bing search engine. "I used to think of Windows and Office as attractive businesses until I saw search,” he added, explaining that Bing did not need to be on the top of the market to turn in profits.
Satya Nadella testifies at Google's antitrust case
Nadella further highlighted Google's deals with Apple where the former became the default search provider on all Apple devices. He said that if Microsoft got the opportunity to become the default on Safari, “it would be a game-changer”. The Microsoft CEO was even prepared to give Apple all the economic benefits from the deal and lose as much as $15 billion a year just to have that deal. “Defaults are the only thing that matters in terms of changing user behavior,” he said.
Not directly naming Google, Nadella also called out the ‘problematic' behavior of tech companies locking up exclusive deals with big content makers, a big part of people's lives online.
“When I am meeting with publishers now, they say Google's going to write this check and it's exclusive and you have to match it,” Nadella said.
He also called the notion that it is easy to change user behavior “bogus”. "We are one of the alternatives but we're not the default,” he added.
Nadella also looked at the future and expressed his concerns that a similar battle between the two companies could ensue over artificial intelligence which was bound to get vicious over winning the market. “Despite my enthusiasm that there is a new angle with A.I., I worry a lot that this vicious cycle that I'm trapped in could get even more vicious,” he said.
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