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Microsoft once reportedly tried to sell Bing to Apple in 2020

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Microsoft may be on its Bing search engine now, thanks to its work on the Bing Chat AI service. However, a new report claims that just a few years ago, Microsoft was in early talks with Apple about selling Bing to the people of Cupertino, California.

A story from BloombergCiting unnamed sources, it claims that in 2020, Microsoft representatives held meetings with Apple’s then-VP of Services, Eddie Cue, when Microsoft proposed that Apple acquire the Bing division.

However, the talks reportedly never went beyond the exploratory stage. The story claims that Apple had several reasons not to pursue such a deal. One was that Apple was probably very happy with the revenue it was getting from Google with its default search engine on Apple devices like the iPhone.

According to the story, another reason the talks did not progress was that Apple “also had concerns about Bing’s ability to compete with Google in quality and capabilities.”

This was not always the case. In 2013, Apple signed an agreement with Microsoft to make its Bing search engine the default for its Siri digital assistant. However, this agreement did not last long. In 2017, Apple switched to Google Search as the default for Siri. This was also the case for Spotlight for Mac, and Search within iOS.

In another report from Bloomberg Today, as part of coverage of Google’s current antitrust lawsuit, it was revealed that in 2016, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella met with Apple CEO Tim Cook to discuss Bing becoming the default search engine for Apple’s Safari browser. Those talks went nowhere, as did another series of talks in 2018 when Microsoft discussed switching from Google to Bing on Apple devices outside the United States.

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