Stop restricting YouTube, disrupting Windows Phones, blocking search boxes, and a bunch of other stuff–just a few of the complaints Microsoft’s leveling at web-search giant Google in an antitrust filing the company plans to put before European Union regulators.
Google’s response? “We’re not surprised that Microsoft has done this, since one of their subsidiaries was one of the original complainants,” said spokesperson Al Verney, according to the New York Times. Verney means Ciao, a price comparison site Microsoft purchased in 2008, and currently one of several complainants who’ve filed against Google with the EU Commission.
Let the political naysaying and finger-pointing begin.
Microsoft Senior VP and General Counsel Brad Smith got the ball rolling yesterday in a blog post titled “Adding our Voice to Concerns about Search in Europe.” The post explained that Microsoft was filing a formal complain with EU regulators “as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law.”
The company then spent some 1,500 words laying out its concerns in detail, while at the same time sneaking in points of praise for the world’s largest search provider.
“At the outset, we should be among the first to compliment Google for its genuine innovations, of which there have been many over the past decade,” wrote Smith, adding that Microsoft “[respected Google's] engineering prowess and competitive drive.”
Toward the end, Microsoft paused and appeared to hold up a mirror:
“There of course will be some who will point out the irony in today’s filing,” wrote Smith. “Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly.”
Microsoft says it’s the first time it’s filed an antitrust complaint. Just typing that makes me want to fiddle the “reality” dial on my Internet connection (to make sure it’s working). Who would’ve predicted that a decade ago?