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September 30, 2021

The top entry on Microsoft's Bing search engine is for its rival Google, Google has said. The claim was made in court, as Google made its case to appeal against a €4.3bn ($5bn) fine from the European Union for abusing its market power.

The EU accused Google of using Android's success in the smartphone market to make Google the default search engine. But Google says its service is simply the most popular.

"We have submitted evidence showing that the most common search query on Bing is, by far, 'Google'," lawyer Alfonso Lamadrid told the EU General Court, as first reported by Bloomberg. "People use Google because they choose to, not because they are forced to.

"Google's market share in general search is consistent with consumer surveys showing that 95% of users prefer Google to rival search engines." Google's argument users choose its services is a key part of its appeal to the record 2018 fine. At the time, Google boss Sundar Pichai blogged Android "has created more choice for everyone, not less".

But Margrethe Vestager, then the EU's Competition Commissioner, said Google had made Android manufacturers pre-install its search app and Chrome web browser - and paid some to make it the only pre-installed app - meaning only 1% of people downloaded a different search app.