Microsoft Shouts Antitrust Over YouTube Snub
January 3, 2013 10:11 AM
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
"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet. A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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