Feeds

Microsoft stokes Google 'antitrust concerns' fire

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

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

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". ®

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.