The US government’s antitrust lawsuit against Google could be a great opportunity for Microsoft to ramp up its Bing search engine use years after a protracted legal protection campaign was abandoned.
From 2007 to 2015, Microsoft campaigned for lawsuits, funded lawsuits, ordered research and academic papers, and even posted television commercials to get regulators to stop Google’s anti-competitive practices.
According to former Microsoft employees involved in the effort, the campaign failed to change Google’s behavior or increase Bing’s market share. Satya Nadella killed the program by cutting money and staff when he took over the helm in 2015.
Google dominated the web search and search engine markets by paying billions of dollars to smartphone manufacturers, cellular operators, and browsers to promote its search engine and punishing them for showing rivals, the government said.
Google denied the allegations and called the process “deeply flawed”.
About 80% of web searches in the US go through distribution points that Google now owns or controls, and Bing has about 7% of the market as its closest competitor, the lawsuit said.
If Microsoft’s response to a government antitrust lawsuit 20 years ago is a guide, Google may be more cautious about rivals as the case progresses.
Microsoft declined to comment on this report.
Microsoft funded and managed anti-Google groups, including FairSearch and Icomp, and brought on board other Google enemies like Expedia, Yelp, News Corp, and Oracle.
Microsoft-sponsored websites have promoted articles raising concerns about the security of Google’s cloud services, a source told Reuters. A Microsoft employee focused on building connections with small businesses that were hurt by Google. Other sources said that some of the operations are run by Microsoft funds.