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ChatGPT Opened a New Era in Search. Microsoft Could Ruin It

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Microsoft in February announced its standard fees for search data would increase by as much as 10 times starting in May.

Credit: Anjali Nair/Getty Images

Google typically gets the blame for the lack of competition in web searchThe US government is even suing to block the company from using allegedly monopolistic tactics, like making itself the default search engine in widely used software such as Android, Chrome, and Safari.

But some upstart search engines trying to woo users with privacy protections or ad-free searches say their latest challenge doesn't come from Google. Instead, it's Microsoft and its Bing search engine causing their aggravation.

Search startups have long relied on licensing search results from Bing, tapping a web indexing operation larger than a small company could easily afford and adding their own features and ways of parsing queries. But Microsoft's rollout of a Bing search chatbot based on technology underlying OpenAI's ChatGPT has prompted concerns that Microsoft is unfairly squeezing out its search data customers as it launches a renewed attempt to bite off more market share from Google.

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