Microsoft believes it's Google’s turn for antitrust problems
March 01st, 2010 - 10:15 am ET by J. G.
Microsoft is worried about anticompetitive behaviour from Google, recommending that companies which feel they are victims should complain to their local competition and consumer authorities.
Mainly in relation to their operating systems, Microsoft has previously had a fair number of accusations about abuse of their dominant position hurled at them. They now seem to be rejoicing in the fact that attention has turned to their main competitor Google.
It appears that Microsoft hasn’t hesitated in firing back at Google who last week strongly suggesting that Microsoft were hiding behind European complaints made against Google and the Ciao! price comparison site (see our news article).
Through their assistant legal director David Heiner, Microsoft addressed Google’s delicate situation, reminding them that American and European authorities will become increasingly interested in their different activities of Internet searching and online advertising in addition to their digital online books project.
Microsoft doesn’t hide the fact that they have been critical of Google to different regulation authorities on numerous occasions. It would have been surprising if this wasn’t the case as Microsoft had to explain their partnership program with Yahoo! before getting the green light. Of course, Google wasn’t mentioned in kind light at the announcement that their project could proceed: "Google’s practices can lead to editors, announcers and competition in the search and online advertising sectors being screwed down. These two sectors are being controlled more and more by a single company, Google ".
For all companies which believe that they are being squashed by Google’s practices, Microsoft suggests making a direct complaint to consumer and competition authorities, as a lot of them seem to be asking Microsoft for advice as to what they can do: "When trying to combat the power of Google over the last few years, we have noticed an increasing number of complains from small and large enterprises about Google’s commercial practices. Some of these complaints only reflect on the aggressive commercial position of Google. Others reflect the secrecy which Google operates under in numerous fields. Some seem to even go as far as to offer that there are serious problems in terms of competition."
In the end it will be the competition authorities who will decide whether Google’s practices are illegal, with Microsoft insisting on the fact that companies shouldn’t be "punished for their success". This is also a way for Microsoft to preach to their faithful, but as long as the authorities are spending their time looking at Google, then Microsoft can’t complain.
So as to not appear as the only company being investigated, Google hasn’t hesitated in publically raising anticompetitive questions about other companies.