Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella warned on Monday of a “nightmare” scenario for the internet if Google’s dominance in online search is allowed to continue, a situation, he said, that starts with searches on desktop and mobile but extends to the emerging battleground of artificial intelligence.
According to international media reports, Nadella testified on Monday as part of the US government’s sweeping antitrust trial against Google, now into its 14th day. He is the most senior tech executive yet to testify during the trial that focuses on the power of Google as the default search engine on mobile devices and browsers around the globe.
Taking the stand in a charcoal suit and tie, Nadella painted Google as a technology giant that has blocked off ways for consumers to access rival search engines. His testimony reflected the frustrations of a long-running rivalry between Microsoft and Google whose tensions have permeated the weeks-long trial.
Central to Google’s strategy has been its agreements with companies such as Apple that have made Google the default search engine for millions of internet users.
“You get up in the morning, you brush your teeth, you search on Google,” Nadella said.
Nadella testified that every year he has been Microsoft’s CEO, he has unsuccessfully sought to persuade Apple to switch away from Google as its default search partner. Nadella added that Microsoft has been willing to spend close to $15 billion a year for the privilege.