Microsoft Shouts Antitrust Over YouTube Snub
January 3, 2013 10:11 AM
comment(s) - last by
Microsoft said FTC isn't doing enough to force Google to conform with antitrust laws
A Microsoft executive has called Google out on the fact that Windows Phone users cannot enjoy
a full YouTube experience
the way Android and iOS users can.
Dave Heiner, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel of Microsoft, wrote a post about the fact that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is not doing enough to force Google to conform with antitrust laws. More specifically, Microsoft is upset that Windows Phone still cannot get a full YouTube app while the competition (Android and iOS) are able.
"Despite government scrutiny, Google continues to block Microsoft from offering its customers proper access to YouTube," said Heiner. "This is an important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone: YouTube apps on the Android and Apple platforms were two of the most downloaded mobile applications in 2012, according to recent news reports. Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy. Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers.
"As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."
Heiner mentioned that the European Commission has addressed Google's business practices and is working toward a resolution that will keep Google in line, but the FTC, however, is taking it a little too easy on the search giant.
"Meanwhile, in the United States, news reports have stated that the FTC may close its investigation if Google merely makes certain “voluntary commitments” to reform its behavior," wrote Heiner. "Separately, news reports suggest that Google will finally agree to live up to its promises to make its standard essential patents available to all on reasonable terms. Unfortunately, this agreement appears to be less demanding than the pledge the U.S. Department of Justice received from Apple and Microsoft nearly a year ago."
Heiner complained that Microsoft had raised the issue about the full-featured YouTube app almost two years ago, and while the European Commission and the FTC are both investigating the matter, Microsoft wants the matter resolved once and for all.
Microsoft is just one tech company that is consistently targeted by the European Commission regarding antitrust laws.
It started in March 2004 when a European Commission high court found the company guilty of
using tactics to freeze out its competitors
in the media player and server software markets. It was fined
Back in 2008, the EU
fined Microsoft $1.4 billion
for refusing to comply during its legal feud with the EU between
July 2006 and October 2007
. Microsoft was charged
$3.83 million a day for each day of non-compliance
Moving forward to 2009, the EU went after Microsoft again for
tying Internet Explorer to Windows
, and by doing so, Microsoft is "stealing" a unique and unfair advantage.
The EU has been on top of Microsoft throughout 2012, with most problems stemming from
browser choices in Windows 7
browser issues with Windows RT
In December, the Commission began investigating Microsoft's policy
changes in Bing and Hotmail
to make sure they comply with user privacy.
You can read Heiner's full post
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Waste of time?
1/3/2013 12:41:03 PM
>>1. Microsoft isn't asking Google to develop an app. MS has already created one, and it is ready to be released. But they can't release it because...
There's nothing stopping Microsoft from writing a Youtube app, it just won't have as full features as the official one, the same as all third party YT apps.
>>2. Google is actively preventing Microsoft's app from working, restricting access to the APIs that make search and other required features possible.
Twitter Facebook and pretty much everyone else limits API access from third party apps, so Microsoft isn't being singled out.
Unless you're suggesting that services such as the afforementioned shouldn't be able to control access?
And while we're on the subject of limiting API access, need I mention the history of Microsoft's Windows, or more recently, Windows RT? Microsoft are in no position to dicate ethics or even to critise. They are the king of anti-competitive behaviour.
>>3. Not only that, with changes that Google made two weeks ago, the browser version doesn't even work any longer. Google changed the URLs on videos so that they launch an official YouTube app for playback (instead of playing directly in the browser), which, of course, doesn't exist on Windows Phone.
Microsoft have fixed that now. It's not Google's job to fix Microsoft's browser.
>>4. So Windows Phone users are left without a way of viewing YouTube videos at all, with the one exception of the MetroTube app, which, again, Google is actively taking steps to break. It has had to be updated twice in the last month to work around blocks put in place by Google.
So it's Google's fault when apps (like Metrotube) that make use of undocumented, non-public API's, break? Yeah right. Get a clue. If Metrotube used the public-only API's it wouldn't break.
>>Note this quote in the article: "...But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told [YouTube] not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."
I don't believe anything that comes out of the Redmond PR office.
>>Makes you really wonder what "Don't be evil" really means. Because this sure would quality as evil under my definition.
It means "don't be like Microsoft". Because if we've learnt anything in the last three decades, it's that Microsoft will use any and all tactics to destroy the competition, just like it's doing here by complaining to antitrust regulators. And this is just one front of antitrust complaint. Microsoft is also using proxies to complain in the EU. Microsoft can't compete by product merit alone, it they resort to underhanded tactics. It's all documented in the halloween documents.
RE: Waste of time?
1/3/2013 3:02:54 PM
So what you're saying is two wrongs make a right...
The YouTube API is open to EVERYONE. It's not a limited API, it's widely open. What Google is doing is preventing information from leaving when the device accessing the API is a Windows Phone device. They're purposefully blocking one and only one provider because they're a competitor in a separate market than their YouTube monopoly.
Note: I don't even own a Windows Phone, I'm iOS, this is just BS.
RE: Waste of time?
1/3/2013 3:22:47 PM
No. There are two APIs. Public for third party apps, and Google's internal one. Google's youtube apps for iOS and Android have access to internal API. Any 3rd party app only has access to public API.
Microsoft wants access to Google's internal API.
RE: Waste of time?
1/3/2013 5:43:49 PM
How about this, Microsoft gets Google's internal Youtube API and everyone else gets DirectX, deal?
"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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