Microsoft CEO testifies on Google’s antitrust trial

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a testimony, has alleged that Google’s unfair tactics, such as default search contracts, have stifled competition in the search market.

Nadella highlighted the lack of choice for users when selecting a search engine, attributing this to Google’s dominance on mobile devices and default search placements. He also admitted that Microsoft’s massive investments in AI, including billions poured into OpenAI, have failed to disrupt Google’s dominance. However, Google’s lead trial counsel argued that this is more due to Microsoft’s missteps than Google’s influence.

Nadella emphasized the power of defaults in the search market, noting that Google’s accessibility and habitual use are major barriers to change. He also voiced concerns that emerging AI technology could further solidify Google’s dominance.

The DOJ is aiming to demonstrate that Google’s market dominance is insurmountable, even for a giant like Microsoft. Nadella, nonetheless, affirmed Microsoft’s persistence in the search game, emphasizing their commitment to contributing to the software category.

Judge Amit Mehta’s questions probed how innovation might be hindered by Google’s dominance. Nadella explained that Microsoft’s investments in search have also benefited smaller players like DuckDuckGo.

Sridhar Ramaswamy, co-founder of startup Neeva, echoed the sentiment that Google’s grip on the search market stifles innovation. Neeva, which aimed to provide an ad-free search experience through a subscription model, struggled to compete due to Google’s default placements.

The sources for this piece include an article in ArsTechnica.

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