Feeds

Microsoft stokes Google 'antitrust concerns' fire

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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
EU justice chief blasts Google on 'right to be forgotten'
Don't pretend it's a freedom of speech issue – interim commish
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
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.