A years-long truce between Microsoft and Google came to an end this April, according to a report by Bloomberg .
According to Bloomberg, the truce saw the two tech giants agreeing to avoid targeting each other with lobbying efforts. Both sides would handle disputes by following a formal process, with the final step involving talks between their respective CEOs. The companies could only head to regulators when all the options provided by the treaty had been used.
The truce is said to have been the result of the CEOs wanting to start anew after a bitter relationship, and that things were falling apart as early as 2019. Bloomberg notes a dispute involving Google’s Search Ads 360, which saw Microsoft protesting at how buying Google advertising spots was easier than doing so with Microsoft’s Bing, couldn’t be resolved.
“The companies feuded publicly over a proposal to force Google to pay news publishers for content and squabbled more quietly over technology for selling search ads,” wrote Bloomberg. “Neither company is eager to extend or renew the alliance, according to people familiar with each companies’ thinking, who weren’t authorized to discuss confidential relationships.”
Microsoft and Google have recently been launching public attacks on one another. Microsoft president Brad Smith telling Bloomberg in April that “Google has fundamentally sucked most of the oxygen out of the opportunities for people who create content to actually earn a living through advertising.” Meanwhile, Google’s SVP of Global Affairs Kent Walker wrote a blog post in March that Microsoft was “reverting to their familiar playbook of attacking rivals and lobbying for regulations that benefit their own interests”.
Early 2021 also saw Microsoft targetting Google over its threat to pull out its search engine from Australia over a law that required Google and Facebook to pay for news content on their respective platforms. “While other tech companies may sometimes threaten to leave Australia, Microsoft will never make such a threat,” wrote Smith.