Microsoft to file EU antitrust complaint against Google

Microsoft Corporation is to file a European antitrust complaint against Google, accusing the worlds number one of violating European competition law and trying to squeeze other search engines out of the market. The Redmond giant is claiming that Google has abused its dominant position resulting in a lower than expected growth of Microsoft's search engine, Bing.

"As troubling as the situation is in United States, it is worse in Europe.  That is why our filing today focuses on a pattern of actions that Google has taken to entrench its dominance in the markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of European consumers." says the technet article.

The claim is not due to one issue, instead a few points are listed starting with the Google purchase of YouTube in 2006, Microsoft claim that the acquisition resulted in a "growing number of technical measures to restrict competing search engines from properly accessing it for their search results" which in turn means Bing and other search engines found it harder to index the websites videos, forcing users away and back to Google.

The document continues by claiming that in 2010 Google restricted access for Windows Phone 7 users and states "Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube...", "It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service." 

Microsoft follow by accusing Google of "seeking to block access to content owned by book publishers". Google has been trying to obtain the exclusive rights for books with no copyright, orphan-books, for a while meaning other search engines would not benefit from this as the content would only be available on Google books. "Google’s ability to deny competitors the ability to search orphan books would further entrench Google’s market power in the online search market." said the US Federal court last week, meaning this may change in US law, but not in European and other markets.

In the fourth point Microsoft claims Google is restricting AdSense customers' data "This data belongs to the advertisers:  it reflects their decisions about their own business," "...Google contractually prohibits advertisers from using their data in an interoperable way with other search advertising platforms, such as Microsoft’s adCenter." This results in lower costs for advertising customers forcing users to stay with the search engine and not look elsewhere at others, such as Bing.

One of the final points the complaint mentions is how "Google contractually blocks leading Web sites in Europe from distributing competing search boxes," which makes it "difficult for competing search engines to gain users when nearly every search box is powered by Google." Microsoft claims that these issues have even blocked the company from distributing some of its services, such as Windows Live and online storage, from European telecommunications networks because they are monetized through Bing search boxes.

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The Redmond giant is claiming that Google has abused its dominant position resulting in a lower than expected growth of Microsoft's search engine, Bing.

I couldn't help but giggle when I read that. How on earth can Microsoft say that with a straight face?? Microsoft is still abusing its market position even to this day; penalising and intimidating those OEM's who don't comply with Microsoft's Windows only policy.

The real question now is, how many Microsoft shill companies will add themselves to this complaint. They distorted the ISO OXML process in the same way.

As far as bing is concerned, users are completely free to choose. It's not like Google sets itself as the default browser/search engine like Microsoft does on Windows. Given Microsoft's inherent monopoly advantage, how can they possibly complain? Clearly, users don't like Microsoft or Bing, and they have shown that by changing Microsoft's default browser settings away from bing.

Oh noes! Microsoft is complaining and whining to the EU...I wonder how many people will abandon Microsoft and call their products lame...
Afterall, the only way that Microsoft can get anywhere is by complaining and whining.
And yes, that is making fun of all the people who said the same thing about Opera.

If Google was accusing MS of these things, half this topic would be people lauding google on their valiant efforts to bring down the mighty Microsoft Monster.

Some of those points were interesting ones, and I'm curious to see what the courts in Europe decide.

Google has built it up to 90%+ market share in the UK because it's a great product, Microsoft on the other hand has advertised, bundled their search engine with their OS and tried lots of other tricks and has got no where.

Google has built it up to 90%+ market share in the UK because it's a great product, Microsoft on the other hand has advertised, bundled their search engine with their OS and tried lots of other tricks and has got no where.

thealexweb said,
Google has built it up to 90%+ market share in the UK because it's a great product, Microsoft on the other hand has advertised, bundled their search engine with their OS and tried lots of other tricks and has got no where.

Agreed. I guess all the years of not having to compete on a level playing field has damaged Microsoft's competitiveness. Only by leveraging its desktop monopoly does it stand a chance at competing in today's marketplace. The problem with that though is that Microsoft often abuses its position in order to gain the competitive advantage it so desperately needs.

All of this antitrust stuff is complete crap.

It shouldn't be based on dominant market position, the same rules should apply to everybody. Apple should offer a browser ballot screen on Mac OS X. Apple should allow alternative sync methods other than iTunes on the iDevices. Google should allow anyone and everyone to access the same YouTube API as they themselves use.

Otherwise, let the companies do whatever the hell they want. Some kind of balance is needed!

Hardcore Til I Die said,
All of this antitrust stuff is complete crap.

It shouldn't be based on dominant market position, the same rules should apply to everybody. Apple should offer a browser ballot screen on Mac OS X. Apple should allow alternative sync methods other than iTunes on the iDevices. Google should allow anyone and everyone to access the same YouTube API as they themselves use.

Otherwise, let the companies do whatever the hell they want. Some kind of balance is needed!

The same rules do apply to all companies. Antitrust laws ARE the balance.

GreyWolf said,

The same rules do apply to all companies. Antitrust laws ARE the balance.

Then why are the things I mentioned above not enforced on those companies? Microsoft were forced to offer a version of windows without windows media player, have Apple been forced to do the same without iTunes? Does Mac OS X have a browser ballot screen?

Hardcore Til I Die said,
All of this antitrust stuff is complete crap.
It shouldn't be based on dominant market position, the same rules should apply to everybody.

Well it's not based on a dominant position because there is no law against it. What there are laws against, are the abuses of said dominant position to exploit other markets like browser share (IE), or making OEM's only ship your product lest they be penalised.

All of the points seemed a little flimsy but the fourth is ridiculous. Did they really just state that Google is forcing people to stay with them (In advertising) as they are cheaper? Common sense really is lost in these lawsuits.

I knew Googles heavy support for the case against Microsoft might come back to bite them. Im surprised that Apple has been so quite on both Microsoft's case and has made no noise about current cases against Google. Although I'm sure someone is thinking about bringing a case against Apple for how its locked up consumers in the iPod+iTunes+iPhone+iPad ecosystem.

All this fighting will be fun to watch.

NPGMBR said,
I knew Googles heavy support for the case against Microsoft might come back to bite them. Im surprised that Apple has been so quite on both Microsoft's case and has made no noise about current cases against Google. Although I'm sure someone is thinking about bringing a case against Apple for how its locked up consumers in the iPod+iTunes+iPhone+iPad ecosystem.

All this fighting will be fun to watch.

Only fun if the customer wins...

Microsoft should sue Mozilla as well because Firefox dominant position in Europe resulting in a decline of Microsoft's IE browser.

alexalex said,
Microsoft should sue Mozilla as well because Firefox dominant position in Europe resulting in a decline of Microsoft's IE browser.

IE was dying out because it was a poor browser. Would you keep using the same old analogue TV which can barely show a good picture, when you can go out and get a HD TV?

alexalex said,
Microsoft should sue Mozilla as well because Firefox dominant position in Europe resulting in a decline of Microsoft's IE browser.

Yes I don't think firefox are being anti-competitive. They just had a better product than IE6 / 7 / 8... Lets see where 9 goes

But certainly +1 for Google Antitrust if this is true

Instinct said,

Yes I don't think firefox are being anti-competitive. They just had a better product than IE6 / 7 / 8... Lets see where 9 goes

But certainly +1 for Google Antitrust if this is true

Of course it is, wasn't microsoft recently voted most ethical company... well except for the windows phone devision's lies,,,

alexalex said,
Microsoft should sue Mozilla as well because Firefox dominant position in Europe resulting in a decline of Microsoft's IE browser.

Stop trollling and go read the article.

Instinct said,

Yes I don't think firefox are being anti-competitive. They just had a better product than IE6 / 7 / 8... Lets see where 9 goes

But certainly +1 for Google Antitrust if this is true

Microsoft can't push IE9 in Europt via Windows Update.

alexalex said,

Microsoft can't push IE9 in Europt via Windows Update.


Never seen anything about that, you sure? Sigh, not that I use IE a whole lot or anything but it is a part of windows (and rightfully so, still don't get why it's wrong for them to include their own browser but all the other tools that come with it is ok...) and I want it to be updated with the rest of my OS...

alexalex said,

Microsoft can't push IE9 in Europt via Windows Update.

I have it in windows update, I can take a screenshot if you would like Maybe it's because I tried the beta.

Minimoose said,

I have it in windows update, I can take a screenshot if you would like Maybe it's because I tried the beta.

Yes, because you downloaded the beta.

If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

+1

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

I also agree.

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

I think ads on every Google page pushing users to Chrome is more 'abuse' than Microsoft including IE in their OS

burnblue said,

I think ads on every Google page pushing users to Chrome is more 'abuse' than Microsoft including IE in their OS


no one is pushing anyone to use chrome... its an ad and you have the choice.... since when did showing ad become abusive? Have you ever noticed microsoft website? many pages link you to windows 7 page and ask you to upgrade or buy it.

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.
Like Safari on Apple? lol

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

+1

burnblue said,

I think ads on every Google page pushing users to Chrome is more 'abuse' than Microsoft including IE in their OS

Manipulative... yes. Illegal... no.

burnblue said,

I think ads on every Google page pushing users to Chrome is more 'abuse' than Microsoft including IE in their OS

Microsoft is the king of monopoly abuse. Google has done nothing wrong as far as I can see. I think Microsoft is just mad because Bing is such an abject failure.

Even Microsoft's desktop monopoly can't help them these days. Every one of their services/products is going down the drain. And I say good riddance, for the less Microsoft we have in the world, the better off we'll all be, at least competition wise.

Subject Delta said,

Manipulative... yes. Illegal... no.

How is it manipulative? Does Microsoft not advertise their own products on their pages? The same goes for every company. It's standard practise. Besides, the less people using IE the better. It means less viruses etc.

Pupik said,
If they won't do anything about it, then I don't see how forcing Microsoft publishing other web browsers (including Chrome) in their own OS (Windows) was justified.

One is a convicted monopoly abuser with a history of dissimulation, the other isn't. I know which I prefer to believe. That's not to say Google is perfect, but it's a damn sight better than Microsoft that's for sure.