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Microsoft files a competition complaint against Google with the EC

Alleges anti-competitive practices
Thu Mar 31 2011, 10:41

SOFTWARE GIANT Microsoft is filing a complaint with the European Commission (EC) after publicly questioning Google's competitive practices.

Microsoft said it was "concerned" about a "pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative".

The complaint refers mainly to Google's search engine, which has a 95 per cent market share in Europe, according to the EC's figures. Microsoft claims that Bing, which it said it has poured a lot of money into, is being artificially held back by Google.

The Vole alleges that Google's acquisition of Youtube in 2006 led to a situation where Google restricted rival search engines from properly accessing video search results, ensuring that users stuck with Google's search engine over Bing and Yahoo.

It accuses Google of a number of other anti-competitive practices, including claims that Google is blocking Youtube from working properly on Windows Phone 7 and the Iphone, that Google tried to secure book deals that would mean book searches would be restricted to its own search engine, restrictions to interoperability of advertising data with competing services, contractual blocks to rival website search boxes, and higher costs for ad placements for direct rivals.

Microsoft acknowledged that it has been the subject of similar allegations to the EC in the past, but said that this is the first time it has resorted to filing a complaint, which it does not take lightly. It said that Google should have the freedom to develop new products and services, but that it should not be allowed to pursue practices that restrict others' freedom to compete with it. µ


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