Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella testified in a landmark antitrust trial against Google’s parent company, Alphabet, as a witness for the US Justice Department. The government alleges that Google, with its 90% share of the search market, has abused its dominance to stifle competition and innovation to the detriment of consumers. The Justice Department claims that Google paid $10 billion annually to smartphone makers like Apple and wireless carriers like AT&T to secure its position as the default search engine on their devices.
During the trial, Nadella stated that Microsoft could never compete with Google due to its arrangements with Apple. He argued that unfair tactics used by Google led to its dominance as a search engine and hindered Microsoft’s rival program, Bing. Nadella revealed that Microsoft was willing to hide the Bing brand on Apple devices in order to secure an agreement with the iPhone maker, emphasizing the importance of being the default search engine. He also expressed concerns about Google’s exclusive deals with publishers, which lock up content and hinder competition in acquiring vast troves of content needed to train artificial intelligence.
Nadella further expressed worries that Google’s dominance in search could be used to manipulate content providers crucial in training generative AI models. He emphasized that he is concerned about the potential escalation of this vicious cycle. The trial raises important questions about competition and the power of tech giants like Google in shaping the digital landscape.