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Google appears to be on a quest for world dominance, and Microsoft is ready to stick its foot out to trip up those efforts.
Once the focus of antitrust complaints itself, Microsoft sets its targets on Google

The tables -- or in Microsoft's case, chairs -- can turn quickly in the technology sector. It was just over a decade ago that Microsoft found itself under close scrutiny for monopolistic behavior with its Windows operating system and Internet Explorer web browser. Now, the Redmond, Washington-based company is crying foul over Google's dominance in the search market (among other areas).

Microsoft has filed an official complaint with the European Commission against Google, saying that the Mountain View, California-based internet giant is violating European antitrust laws. 

Brad Smith, Microsoft Senior VP and General Counsel, starts off in a blog post praising Google for a decade of innovation in the marketplace and its efforts to "organize the world's information", but quickly moves in on what he feels are the company's moves to squash the competition at every corner. 

For starters, Google has roughly a 65 percent share of the internet search market in the United States (Microsoft holds a 26 percent share in the U.S. when you account for Bing and its stake in Yahoo's search engine). "At Microsoft we’ve shown that we’re prepared to work hard and invest literally billions of dollars annually to offer Bing, a search service that many now regard as the most innovative available," said Smith. "But, hard work and innovation need a fair and competitive marketplace in which to thrive."

In Europe, however, Google's share is a whopping 95 percent according to Smith. Google is accused of using this enviable position to corner the European market with regards to search advertising.

It understands as well as anyone that search engines depend upon the openness of the Web in order to function properly, and it’s quick to complain when others undermine this.  Unfortunately, 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 

Smith even goes so far as to say that Google doesn't offer competitors enough access to produce credible YouTube clients for smartphones. Google of course provides a powerful YouTube application with its Android smartphone/tablet operating system, and Google's long-running deal with Apple allows iOS devices like the iPhone and iPad to contain highly functional versions of the YouTube application.

Microsoft complains about YouTube openness, stating:

Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do.  As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones.  Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone.  We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide. 

Google's dominance in search and its unwillingness to share the wealth when it comes to YouTube are just the tip of the iceberg. Microsoft has a long listen of grievances including Google's venture into the books arena, restrictions on customer/advertiser data, content control, and unfair advantages when it comes to advertisement positioning. You can read all of Microsoft's complaints here

"We readily appreciate that Google should continue to have the freedom to innovate," Smith concludes. "But it shouldn’t be permitted to pursue practices that restrict others from innovating and offering competitive alternatives.  That’s what it’s doing now.  And that’s what we hope European officials will assess and ultimately decide to stop."



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RE: Anti-competitive practices
By drlumen on 3/31/2011 5:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
You do realize that free is anti-competitive too right? Netscape was selling for $40-$50 before M$ decided they wanted the stranglehold on the browser market (for fear that the browser would displace the need for windows). How could Netscape, with a browser as their main revenue stream, compete with free?

M$ is the LAST to talk and complain about openness. NOTHING they release IS OPEN. Even between M$ products... Ever tried to open a Works document in Word or vice versa?


RE: Anti-competitive practices
By inighthawki on 3/31/2011 11:24:25 PM , Rating: 2
It's hard to take you seriously when you refer to Microsoft as M$ and make it sound like a free browser and media player are a bad thing. Also last I checked, I CAN open works documents in office, and the fact that works has been discontinued and is being phased out, it doesn't surprise me there would be little support.


“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads














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