Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is set to take the stand Monday as part of the Justice Department’s antitrust trial against Google.
(Bloomberg) — Microsoft Corp. Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella is set to take the stand Monday as part of the Justice Department’s antitrust trial against Google.
The DOJ has accused Alphabet Inc.’s search division of unlawfully maintaining a monopoly by paying $10 billion a year to rivals, smartphone manufacturers and wireless carriers to make its search engine the default option on mobile devices and web browsers. Google has denied the allegations.
To help prove its case, the DOJ 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.
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. 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. Nadella was personally involved in discussing some of these issues with his Google counterpart, Sundar Pichai, and will probably be asked about those conversations.
Nadella was instrumental in the development of Bing, created by Microsoft in an ultimately doomed attempt to catch up with Google and capture a chunk of the online advertising market.
While Bing has gained share on desktop computers, where it was integrated with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and later Edge browser, it has lagged on mobile devices where people overwhelming use Google. Three or so years ago, Microsoft even discussed selling Bing to Apple, a transaction that would have replaced Google as the default option on the iPhone maker’s devices, Bloomberg reported. But a deal never came to fruition.
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