Apple Rejected Bing Over Wrong Annie Lennox Answer, Google Antitrust Defense Reveals

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Late last year, the United States government wrapped up arguments in its antitrust case against Google over its alleged search engine monopoly — a verdict has not yet been reached, and isn’t expected for a few more months. As The Register reports, a recently released filing from Google’s defense reveals that part of the reason why Apple rejected a bid from Microsoft to make Bing its default search engine in Safari was because of a wrong answer when looking up information about Annie Lennox.

A lot of the government’s case against Google has been focused on how the company maintained its hold as the default search option in Safari. In testimony from Apple executive John Giannandrea, he said that while Apple was evaluating Bing as a potential replacement for Google, he became “worried that they were significantly worse in the long tail” after using the Microsoft-owned search engine for a few days.

In an email, Giannandrea wrote: “I have been living on bing for the last few days. Mostly it works fine. Then in the odd long tail query it just doesn’t. A recent example is ‘annie lennox first band’. Google gets ‘the tourists’ as a web answer. Bing highlights the same answer but shows a box highlighting the Eurythmics. This worries me a lot.”