Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, testified on Monday as a witness for US Justice Department in an antitrust trial against Google’s parent company, Alphabet. The Justice Department has alleged that Google, which has 90% of the search market, has misusing its dominance to throttle competition and innovation at the expense of consumers. The government has alleged that Google has paid $10 billion annually to Apple and other phone manufacturers such as AT&T to make Google their default search engine, which will help it stay on top.
Nadella said that it could never compete against the search engine behemoth, largely due to its arrangements with Apple. “You can call it popular, but to me it’s dominant,” stated Nadella during tense cross examination.
He added the Google’s unfair practices led to its dominance as a search engine, thwarting Microsoft’s rival program, Bing. “We are one of the alternatives but we’re not the default,” stated Microsoft chief.
Nadella revealed that his company was willing to hide Bing brand on Apple, in order to secure an agreement with the iPhone maker. He added that getting “default” tag from Apple would have been game-changing for them. “Whomever they choose, they king-make,” said Nadella.
Microsoft CEO also complained that Google have been locking up content with expensive and exclusive deals with publishers when tech giants were competing for vast troves of content needed to train artificial intelligence.