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Business News/ Companies / News/  Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to testify in US antitrust trial against Google today
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to testify in US antitrust trial against Google today

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is expected to testify in the US Justice Department's antitrust trial against Google, highlighting the search giant's hold on the market. The government claims Google paid billions to be the default search engine on devices, boosting its advertising profits.

Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation Satya Nadella (REUTERS)Premium
Chief Executive Officer of Microsoft Corporation Satya Nadella (REUTERS)

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella is expected to testify today (2nd October) as part of the US Justice Department’s antitrust trial against Google.

The US government has argued that search engine giant Google, illegally paid $10 billion annually to smartphone makers like Apple and wireless carriers like AT&T and others to be the default in search on their devices in order to stay on top.

The clout in search makes Google a heavy hitter in the lucrative advertising market, boosting its profits.

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But the US government hopes to use testimony from Nadella and other executives from Microsoft to show how even a company of its size and resources couldn’t unlock Google’s hold on the search market.

The US Justice Department will ask Nadella about Microsoft's efforts to expand the reach of Edge and Bing, its browser and search engine, and the obstacles posed by Google's dominance.

Last week, Microsoft business development executive Jonathan Tinter testified that the Redmond, Washington-based software giant failed to secure a deal to put its Bing search app on Apple’s products, even though it was willing to offer far better terms than Google and lose multiple billions of dollars on the agreement.

Also read: Apple defends decision to set Google as default search engine on iPhones, Macs, says ‘no viable alternative’

Alphabet insisted that Microsoft place a Google search widget on the main screen of its Surface Duo touchscreen smartphone device in order to license the Android operating system, rejecting the software company’s request to use its own search engine, Bing, said Tinter, who negotiated the deal in the spring and summer of 2020.

Google also prohibited Microsoft from instructing users how to switch the default search engine to Bing.

In the end, Apple signed a fresh deal with Google. Tinter also told the court that Microsoft’s Surface Duo smartphone was required to use Google Search in order to license the Android mobile operating system and was limited from using Bing on its own devices.

Microsoft began taking orders for the $1,400 dual-screen folding Duo in August 2020. While it had some fans, the Duo fared poorly and within months Microsoft was already offering discounts on the product.

Microsoft's Bing has gained share on desktop computers, where it was integrated with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and later Edge browser but has lagged on mobile devices where people overwhelming use Google.

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Updated: 02 Oct 2023, 06:30 AM IST
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