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Apple Reportedly Explored Acquisition of Bing from Microsoft in 2018

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Apple Explored Acquisition of Bing Search Engine from Microsoft in 2018

According to recently unsealed testimony from Apple's head of machine learning and former Google executive, John Giannandrea, Apple considered acquiring the Bing search engine or making a "multibillion dollar investment" in a joint venture with Microsoft in 2018. The purpose was to potentially replace Google as the default search engine for some Siri queries and other iPhone and Mac features. The deal with Microsoft did not materialize, and Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, reportedly informed Microsoft that it was not moving forward. Giannandrea's testimony was part of the ongoing Department of Justice's antitrust case against Google, which aims to prove Google's alleged monopolistic practices.

Internal Deliberations and Potential Partnerships

Giannandrea's testimony revealed that Apple had internal discussions about various scenarios with Microsoft, including growing Siri organically, collaborating on building a technology called "Knowledge Graph," co-owning Bing, or acquiring Bing. The transcript also mentioned meetings between Cook and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in the summer of 2018, which initiated talks about potentially increasing the partnership with Bing.

Challenges and Skepticism

Despite the discussions, Giannandrea expressed skepticism about Bing's potential as a superior search engine compared to Google. He sent an email to Cook in December 2018 outlining his reservations and later compared Bing and Google search in 2021, finding Google significantly better at mobile queries. The testimony also touched on Apple's ongoing efforts to improve its own search technologies and language models. While representatives from Apple and Microsoft have not commented on the matter, the revelations shed light on Apple's considerations and strategic decisions regarding search engine partnerships. The DOJ's antitrust case against Google continues to unfold, and the outcome may have implications for the search engine market and future partnerships in the tech industry.

Apple's Consideration of Bing Acquisition: Implications for New Business Ventures

Recent revelations that Apple contemplated acquiring Bing, Microsoft's search engine, in 2018 could offer valuable insights for new businesses. The tech giant's exploration of this acquisition, as revealed by John Giannandrea, Apple's head of machine learning and former Google executive, indicates the company's strategic considerations in enhancing its search capabilities.

Strategic Deliberations and Potential Collaborations

Apple's internal discussions about potential scenarios with Microsoft, including growing Siri organically, collaborating on the "Knowledge Graph" technology, co-owning Bing, or acquiring Bing, highlight the importance of strategic partnerships in business growth. These considerations underscore the need for new businesses to explore collaborative opportunities that align with their growth objectives.

Assessing Challenges and Expressing Skepticism

Despite these discussions, Giannandrea expressed skepticism about Bing's potential to outperform Google as a search engine. His reservations, outlined in an email to Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, emphasize the importance of thorough assessment and critical evaluation in business decision-making. For new businesses, this serves as a reminder to carefully evaluate potential partnerships and acquisitions for their strategic fit and potential to add value.
Implications for the Tech Industry
The revelations about Apple's consideration of Bing acquisition, along with the ongoing Department of Justice's antitrust case against Google, could have significant implications for the tech industry. The outcome may influence future partnerships and competition within the search engine market. For new businesses in the tech sector, these developments provide crucial context for understanding the industry dynamics and potential opportunities for strategic collaborations.
Story First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/05/apple-considered-buying-bing-from-microsoft-in-2018.html
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