Microsoft whacks Google with antitrust complaint

People in glass houses...
People in glass houses...

Microsoft has filed a formal complaint against Google with the European Commission, believing the search giant is "stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative".

In a blog post, Brad Smith, senior vice president & general counsel of Microsoft, was quick to praise Google on its innovations but felt the time had come to raise concerns.

"Over the past year, a growing number of advertisers, publishers, and consumers have expressed to us their concerns about the search market in Europe," said Smith.

"The stakes are high for the European economy. On any given day, more than half of all Europeans use the Internet, and more than 90 percent of themlook for information about goods and services on the web.

"It's therefore critical that search engines and online advertising move forward in an open, fair and competitive manner."

Google whack

Microsoft obviously has its own interests at heart, given that the company owns Bing. And it can't be happy that Google owns 95 per cent of the search market, but in its statement it feels that Google's reach is beyond search and has wider implications on the online video and phone market.

"In 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft's new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube," Smith said.

"Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favourites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones.

"It's done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn't offer a competing search service."

A spokesperson for Google said about Microsoft's actions: "We're not surprised that Microsoft has done this, since one of their subsidiaries was one of the original complainants.

"For our part, we continue to discuss the case with the European commission."

Marc Chacksfield

Marc Chacksfield is the Editor In Chief, at DC Thomson. He started out life as a movie writer for numerous (now defunct) magazines and soon found himself online - editing a gaggle of gadget sites, including TechRadar, Digital Camera World and Tom's Guide UK. At Shortlist you'll find him mostly writing about movies and tech, so no change there then.