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Microsoft Files Antitrust Complaint Against Google

| 1 Apr 2011 15:52
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Microsoft believes Google is making it impossible to compete in the internet search market.

This week, Microsoft officially joined a group of companies in Europe that have filed complaints with the European Commission against Google for what they call potentially illegal anti-competitive practices. Microsoft says that Bing, its Google search alternative, cannot make any headway in the current business environment.

In a blog post, Microsoft senior vice president & general counsel Brad Smith writes that Google controls 95% of the search market in Europe. He feels that the competitive environment in the U.S. is also poor, but says Bing has at least been able to take a 25% market share in the region.

However, this may not be possible in Europe, according to Smith. He names various reasons as justification for Microsoft's antitrust complaint. First, Smith says that restrictions have been implemented within Google-owned YouTube to prevent competing search engines from accessing it properly. YouTube is one of the biggest video sharing websites in the world, so not having access to its content is a huge detriment.

Smith also calls Google out on blocking Microsoft's Windows Phones from accessing all of YouTube's features, though it implements full YouTube functionality for Google's Android phones and Apple's iPhones. Microsoft has a YouTube app ready to go for Windows Phone 7, but says Google hasn't given it permission to access YouTube as it has with other companies.

Further, Smith writes that Google wants to block access to certain types of book content for any search engine other than its own, restrict the data of advertisers that use Google's services, and says Google should not be allowed to prevent European websites from using search boxes other than Google's. Microsoft is also concerned about what it calls Google's discrimination against competitors in regards to advertising placement.

Smith acknowledges that it's somewhat ironic for Microsoft to file an antitrust complaint, the giant having been the target of antitrust accusations in the past. He says the company doesn't take the filing of this complaint lightly, pointing out it's the first time Microsoft has made such a move. What was once a search engine war of words has now become an official battle.

Thanks for the tip CezarIgnat!

Source: Microsoft Blog

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