Microsoft says Google acts raise antitrust issues

SEATTLE Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:27pm EST

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SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp made its most vehement and public attack on Google Inc on Friday, calling its internet rival's actions potentially anti-competitive, and urging victims to file complaints to regulators.

The broadside comes days after a Microsoft-owned business, along with two other small online companies, complained to European Union regulators about Google's operations there. Microsoft is also fighting a plan by Google to digitize millions of books, currently under scrutiny by the Department of Justice.

"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," wrote Dave Heiner, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, in a blog published on the company's website on Friday.

"Ultimately the competition law agencies will have to decide whether or not Google's practices should be seen as illegal," he wrote.

Google declined to comment on Microsoft's blog.

For the past two decades, Microsoft has been among the prime targets of competition regulators in the United States and Europe, over the way it handled its near monopoly of computer operating systems.

The world's largest software maker now seems keen to direct regulatory scrutiny onto Google, by far the world's biggest internet search company.

"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."

Heiner said Google's way of working with advertisers and publishers makes it hard for Microsoft's competing Bing search engine to win search volume.

He suggested firms who feel they have been hurt by Google should complain to "competition law agencies". The European Commission has not at this stage opened a formal inquiry into Google after it received complaints this week.

Microsoft's attack is certain to heat up relations between the two companies, which now compete on a broad spectrum of technology products, from software applications and mobile phone systems to internet search and e-mail programs.

(Reporting by Bill Rigby; Editing by David Gregorio)

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Comments (5)
blueyes1077 wrote:
Awww…poor little Microsoft is crying like a spoiled brat when they can’t strong arm another section of the technology sector and will have to actually compete. Awwww…what goes around comes around.

Feb 26, 2010 9:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
drclue wrote:
Microsoft the king of antitrust and
under handed business dealings
appears this week in a variety of
curious Halloween outfits.

First Masquerading as a tiny helpless
business being beat up by the big
bad Google monster.

Then a quick costume change to become the
big brother and Saviour of small
struggling businesses throughout the EU.

Microsoft is owed a refund by that drunken
political campaign manager they must of hired
as these tactics went out of style
with beta-max and 8-track tapes.

Even the “wheres the any key?” crowd
is wise to the fact that Microsoft
had a strong global track record
of deception , and total lacking of
business morals.

But hey Uncle Bill , give us another
round of stories , but not too much
as I might laugh up my lunch.

Feb 26, 2010 9:57pm EST  --  Report as abuse
donsspam wrote:
MS is accusing someone of anticompetitive acts. Wow the irony is blinding me.

Thanks, Mr Gates i have not laughed that loud in a long time.

Next MS will be accusing someone of delivering a substandard product at an unreasonable price.

Then MS will attempt to accuse them of releasing buggy software.

Wow, this should be linked to Wikipedia under the definition of IRONY.

Wow.

Feb 26, 2010 10:08pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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