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Microsoft Complains Google Is Restricting Competition

David Gilbert


Microsoft Complains Google Is Restricting Competition

The world has a funny way of turning things on its head and today’s filing by Microsoft against Google for anti-competition practices is an ideal example.

Microsoft has put its weight behind the many other complaints stating that Google is preventing competition in the search market in the EU which is “to the detriment of European consumers.” Microsoft has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law. In a blog post, Microsoft’s lead counsel, Brad Smith, outlines how Microsoft believes Google has breached competition laws. It says that Google has engaged in a “broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.”

In Europe Google holds about 95 percent of the search market while in the US, Microsoft holds up to a 25 percent share directly through Bing and through its partnership with Yahoo! While it also has serious issues with the way Google operates in the States, it believes the situation is a lot worse in Europe. Microsoft’s filing lists quite a number of instances where it believes Google is impeding competition. Among these is Google’s acquisition of YouTube in 2006, after which, Microsoft claims, Google put in place “a growing number of technical measures to restrict competing search engines from properly accessing it for their search results.” It also claims Google prevented YouTube from operating properly with Windows Phones. A more detailed outline of the complaints Mircosoft has can be read at the source link below.

Microsoft of course is well aware of the irony with it filing an anti-competitiveness complaint and even point this out in its blog posting. “Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly. This is the first time Microsoft Corporation has ever taken this step.”

Of course this is not an isolated incident, and only last month we saw Google trapping Bing in a sting operation claiming Bing was stealing its search results. We imagine this will not be the last of the Microsoft-Google battles.

Source: Microsoft on the Issues

Michael Kilbane

March 31, 2011, 9:02 pm

Microsoft as always are the pot calling the kettle black. They've been doing the same sort of thing for decades with there dominate Windows operating system.


March 31, 2011, 11:02 pm

Pot ... kettle ... black ....

Enough said :)


April 1, 2011, 12:06 am

Does this mean that Google may have to end up treating Opera just like it treats Firefox and Chrome? Or is that too silly a notion?


April 1, 2011, 12:41 am

You've got to give credit to Google. They came out of nowhere and dethroned the reigning search engines at the time purely on the merit of their product. People had choice and the majority of them chose to use Google.

Denis iii

April 1, 2011, 2:05 pm

@Armin: Google end up treating Opera like Firefox and Chrome? I don't follow......

Go Microsoft! Attack the great evil that is google. Why isn't Apple forced to provide browser selection like Microsoft is?


April 1, 2011, 2:06 pm

What's more interesting is that, as a gesture of good will, Microsoft is going to release the entire Windows 2000 source tree under GPL v3, and that the name Linus Torvalds shows up as the main author of the edit control and radio button (non 3d version) code. Who knew?


April 1, 2011, 3:15 pm

Considering that MS love to make their websites "busy" where as google keeps a nice clean page.

Bing search results are useless anyway, I have tried it repeatedly along with other search engines, but I always end up back at Google.

Also google it sounds so much better than bing it.

Jim Fulton

April 1, 2011, 9:50 pm

GINYF? To paraphrase an old acroym, Google Is Not Your Friend....


April 1, 2011, 9:52 pm

youtube doesn't even work properly on the Nexus S (Need to use the youtube app and can't use browser because flash is out of date).


April 2, 2011, 1:21 am

@ Denis iii: As in, have Google Instant work in Opera, animated Google Doodles, and so on. Minor things as far as I am aware.


April 4, 2011, 2:50 pm

Why should MS's previous antitrust issues mean that it can't call a spade a spade? If Google are in the wrong then good on MS for pointing it out. Doesn't mean they're angels themselves but anticompetitive behaviour benefits no one.

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