Feeds

Microsoft stokes Google 'antitrust concerns' fire

If there's a hell below, we're all gonna go

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Microsoft launched an ardent attack against Google late last week, accusing the web giant of anti-competitive behaviour.

The software vendor's deputy general counsel Dave Heiner wrote a missive on Microsoft's corporate blog on Friday, in which he highlighted complaints levelled at what he sees as Google's questionable business practices.

"Our concerns relate only to Google practices that tend to lock in business partners and content - like Google Books - and exclude competitors, thereby undermining competition more broadly," grumbled Heiner.

His comments came at the end of what had been a torturous time for Mountain View, with its increasingly strained relationships with various regulators and companies in Europe underlined last week.

Microsoft-owned outfit, Ciao!, and two other small online businesses filed a complaint with European Commission watchdogs last Wednesday.

The EC, which is the legislative body of the European Union, confirmed it was investigating Google to see if it has broken competition and anti-trust laws, although no there is official inquiry yet.

A UK price comparison site called Foundem, a French legal search engine ejustice.fr and Microsoft have all complained that Google tweaked search results unfairly to push them further down the rankings than they should be.

"As Google's power has grown in recent years, we've increasingly heard complaints from a range of firms - large and small - about a wide variety of Google business practices," wrote Heiner.

"Some of the complaints just reflect aggressive business stances taken by Google. Some reflect the secrecy with which Google operates in many areas. Some appear to raise serious antitrust issues."

Google has said it will cooperate with the probe and hand over information to the Commission.

"We are confident that our business operates in the interests of users and partners, as well as in line with European competition law," it said. The search giant also took to its own corporate blog to dismiss the complaints as an inevitable result of its success.

Elsewhere, Microsoft has taken its fight against Google to the US Department of Justice over the search kingpin's plans to digitise millions of books.

"Ultimately the competition law agencies will have to decide whether or not Google's practices should be seen as illegal," griped Heiner.

Of course, some might view Microsoft's aggressive stance against Google as an attempt to redirect regulators' attention onto Mountain View.

Microsoft has battled with antitrust watchdogs for years over complaints that its exploited its effective operating system monopoly into other markets.

Heiner grumbled that Google's deals with advertisers and publishers was keeping Microsoft's efforts to compete with its search engine, in the form of Bing, at bay. He urged companies that felt they had been hurt by Google's dominance in search to take their complaints to "competition law agencies". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.