Microsoft Files Complaint Against Google In the EU

rated by 0 users
This post has 7 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,699
Points 1,207,610
Joined: Sep 2007
News Posted: Thu, Mar 31 2011 3:49 PM
Historically, when the EU and Microsoft have dealt with each other, the latter has been under investigation by the former amid allegations of anti-competitive practices, bad faith negotiation, and interference with an investigation. It's therefore strange to read that Microsoft, of all companies, has filed a complaint against Google with the EU. A recent blog post by Brad Smith, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, explains the company's reasoning.
we’re concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative... We’ve therefore decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns about the European search market.  By the European Commission’s own reckoning, Google has about 95 percent of the search market in Europe.  This contrasts with the United States, where Microsoft serves about a quarter of Americans’ search needs either directly through Bing or through our partnership with Yahoo!.
Smith then hints at Google's dark motives, describing the company's Yahoo offer as an attempt to impede fair competition, while Google Books is an attempt to "monopolize book content." Despite the DOJ's best efforts "this has not stopped the spread by Google of new and disconcerting practices in the United States."

Bing's market share in selected nations. Data from Q4 2010

Google, Microsoft alleges, plays both ends against the middle. It decries any attempt to apply a walled garden standard to the Internet while simultaneously "walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers."

Microsoft claims that Google has made it steadily more difficult for third-party search engines to index YouTube clips, has purposefully prevented WP7 smartphones from implementing a competitive YouTube app, is attempting to steal so-called 'orphan' books, restricts advertisers' ability to access their own data, and competitively blocks leading EU websites from displaying embedded search boxes from other search engines. This last point has "blocked Microsoft from distributing its Windows Live services, such as email and online document storage, through European telecommunications companies because these services are monetized through Bing search boxes."

Microsoft's filing could cause further waves for Google. The search giant is still under investigation after three alternative browser developers sued it late last year. Google's response is short and to the point:  "We're not surprised that Microsoft has done this, since one of their subsidiaries was one of the original complainants," said Google spokesperson Al Verney. For our part, we continue to discuss the case with the European Commission and we're happy to explain to anyone how our business works."

As for why MS filed in the EU, there's a difference in how copyright law is often interpreted across the pond. In the EU, the focus is on anticompetitive behavior. In the US, companies must typically show that consumers were harmed. It's rather difficult to demonstrate how Google has harmed consumers. The fact that its market share is smaller here also makes it harder for Redmond to prove that Google has abused its dominant position.

Lest any of you think the company is without a sense of humor, Brad Smith notes notes the irony of the situation. saying: "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." 
  • | Post Points: 95
Top 25 Contributor
Posts 3,798
Points 40,665
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: New York
Inspector replied on Thu, Mar 31 2011 4:34 PM

HEHE :D Google is at it and Microsoft doesn't like! :( Google isn't doing a good job hiding the fact that they want to take over the world :P

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 1,016
Points 10,970
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Mcallen, Texas
OSunday replied on Thu, Mar 31 2011 6:30 PM

Microsoft's a great company but I think Google's really got their customers welfare in mind when they do things and they do push out some of the best products and services around at the moment.

I'm all for Google being top dog, but not the only dog.

Competition is always a good thing

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 3,236
Points 37,910
Joined: Mar 2010
AKwyn replied on Thu, Mar 31 2011 8:19 PM

I think it's been a long time since people forgotten that Bing copied Google search results to file a complaint. Am I right?

Seriously, it's surprising that Google has alot of market share in Europe, I don't know if it's anticompetitive or anything, I use their search engine and email services because they're easy and reliable but other then that, I don't use Google's other services as much, therefore I can't offer much more insight.


"The future starts with you; now start posting more!"

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,054
Points 60,735
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
3vi1 replied on Thu, Mar 31 2011 10:07 PM

Ralphie! Quit beating the snot out of Scott Fargus!

Odd how Microsoft can no longer compete when they can't leverage their OS to steer people headfirst into their software. It's almost as if they aren't making the best products in the world.

This message brought to you by the letter Zune and the number Kin.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?


  • | Post Points: 5
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 4,849
Points 45,900
Joined: Feb 2008
Location: Kennesaw
rapid1 replied on Thu, Mar 31 2011 10:47 PM

This is like a younger sibling telling on an older sibling for something either they have gotten in trouble for or something they have seen an older kid get in trouble for before. If that is a way to judge it my little brother's ploy for it always worked, so Google is in trouble on this one.

Xonar DGX
Intel Gigabit CT
Geforce GTX 770 4GB
G.Skill X1600/1754 2x8GB 7/8/8/24
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,865
Points 29,645
Joined: Mar 2011
Location: United States, Connecticut

Haha, the fact of the matter is Google does the best job as far as a search engine is concerned so it is not surprising that they have such a market share. The one thing I have to say that all search engines need to improve on is their "Safe Search" features. It is surprising how much adult content slips through their filters when searching for some innocuous terms. I agree though I am all for competition because it breeds innovation and benefits the customer the most.

Competition is the same reason why the telecommunications companies rules need some serious overhaul to get that competition going again.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 24
Points 145
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Priess

Couldn't agree with you more!

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (8 items) | RSS