Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, voiced concerns about major tech companies, including Google, locking up vast amounts of content through exclusive deals with publishers. This content is crucial for training advanced artificial intelligence (AI) models.
Nadella highlighted the similarities between these content acquisition strategies and distribution deals of the past. He emphasized that while investing in servers for AI is straightforward, exclusive content deals by rivals pose challenges. Specifically, publishers have indicated to Microsoft that Google offers substantial exclusive deals that competitors must match.
Microsoft’s Struggle with Search Dominance
Nadella revealed that Microsoft had attempted to make Bing the default search engine on Apple smartphones but was turned down. In response, Google’s lead lawyer, John Schmidtlein, pointed out instances where Microsoft managed to secure default search engine status but couldn’t outperform Google.
Many users, despite having Bing as the default, preferred Google. Nadella conceded that on laptops, where Bing is often the default due to Microsoft’s operating system, its market share remains below 20%. Judge Amit Mehta inquired why Apple would opt for Bing when it’s perceived as a lower-quality product, suggesting that Google’s quality, not just business practices, plays a major role in its search dominance.