WAAAH! Microsoft hates Google, cries to Europe

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
By Richi Jennings. March 31, 2011.

UPDATED: Microsoft has made its first ever antitrust complaint. It's telling the European Commission that Google isn't playing fair in the search sandbox; Redmond wants the EC to make Mountain View "do sharesies," offering a laundry-list of anti-competitive allegations. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers can't help but see the irony.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention the Steven Spielberg Universal Legend...


Dina Bass fishes for news bites:

Google bars competitors from accessing ... YouTube ... for search results ... has kept phones running [Windows Phone 7] from working properly with YouTube ... blocks top European websites from distributing rival search boxes ... [and] is also seeking to block access to content owned by book publishers ... Microsoft said. ... [There's] growing pressure from global regulators ... probing whether [Google] uses its dominance of Web search to thwart competition.


Google “is not surprised” that Microsoft has complained ... its advertising unit ... filed a complaint last year, said ... a spokesman for Google. ... “We continue to discuss the case with the [EC] and we’re happy to explain to anyone how our business works.”


Google has almost 95 percent of the market in Europe, [Microsoft] said.

  Devindra Hardawar develops the story:

The move will be Microsoft’s first antitrust complaint against another company. ... It’s a sign of desperation. The antitrust complaint tells us that Microsoft can no longer compete ... and that it has no recourse but to try and slow down Google’s progress through other means.


Microsoft’s complaint will likely have more weight in Europe, where Google’s search engine is even more dominant than it is in the US. ... Of course, Microsoft is also hoping that US officials take the hint.

Microsoft's Brad Smith opens his kimono:

We thought it important to be transparent and provide some information on what we’re doing and why. ... We should be among the first to compliment Google for its genuine innovations, of which there have been many. ... We respect their engineering prowess and competitive drive.


But we’re concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative. ... We’ve therefore decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns. ... Twice the Department of Justice has intervened to thwart Google’s unlawful conduct. ... As troubling as the situation is in United States, it is worse in Europe. ... Google has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need.

Brad who? John Oates 'splains the irony:

Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, is likely best known ... for his role in protecting the software giant against competition and monopoly complaints, so ... he knows what he's talking about.


Pot meet kettle. ... His unsuccessful defence of the firm ... ended with the Commission hitting it with a [$2 billion] fine.

But Rory Cellan-Jones sees past the irony:

[It's] not just a wonderfully ironic turn of events, it's a measure of how the balance of power on the web has shifted.


Google is saying very little. ... I was told they still had not seen details of the complaint. Perhaps they should try to search for [it].


And here's another irony ... the world may have moved on by the time the Google inquiry is over. The search giant is increasingly nervous about its failure ... in social networking, where Facebook rules the roost.

And here's Vlad Savov, with this tl;dr zinger:

So Microsoft doesn't like anticompetitive behavior, huh? Since when?

And Finally...

Did Steven Spielberg get his start in the industry by commandeering an unoccupied Universal Studios office?

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: itbw@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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