Microsoft to European Regulators: Go Get Google!

The cycle of regulatory warfare continues in the tech sector: Microsoft, once subject to an European Commission antitrust investigation driven in no small part by upset competitors, is now asking the EC to investigate Google, one of its biggest competitors, on antitrust grounds. From Politico:

Microsoft asked European regulators Thursday to go after Google on antitrust grounds, accusing the search giant of trying to “entrench its dominance” on the Web. 

It’s a major escalation in the war between the two tech titans. 

Microsoft and other Google foes say Google’s powerful search engine and its move into other markets — from advertising to mobile phones to travel — has stunted industry-wide competition. Google has described itself as under siege – the victim of a Microsoft-led “anti-Google industrial complex.” 

In an early-morning blog post Thursday, Microsoft executive Brad Smith said the company’s European Commission filing accuses Google of having “engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers.” 

The EC case against Microsoft lasted throughout much of the 00s. In 2009, the EC dropped its case in exchange for some concessions from the software publisher. European action against Microsoft came on the heels of a series of U.S. cases against the company, which David B. Kopel and Joseph Bast documented in the November, 2001 issue of Reason

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  • ||

    This is what happens. For a good while, Microsoft did almost no lobbying at the federal level and wasn't overtly political. Then they were punished for not paying adequate respect to the feds in an almost totally bogus anti-trust suit.

    After that, Microsoft started being more attuned to the needs and wants of the federal government. After taking further abuse in Europe, they've gone from focusing their fight on winning the marketplace to using government to help them fight their battles. Sad, but the government simply couldn't leave well enough alone.

  • ||

    Microsoft's competitors urged the government on, too. *cough* Netscape *cough*

  • ||

    That's absolutely correct. In fact, you named one of the great sinners. Also guilty were Oracle, Novell, and IBM.

    Pathetic.

  • ||

    This is what happens.

    I guess....but the time between when Google started and when Google started lobbying government can be measured in milliseconds.

    That time for Microsoft can be measured in decades.

  • ||

    I didn't mean to imply that all companies react in the same way. Some, like Oracle, start off that way.

  • X||

    these other nerds are a threat to our way of life!

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    Sad to see a company that once tried to stay out of politics turn into another rent-seeking goliath trying to use the guns of the Government to crush its' competition.

  • Bob||

    True story, Gates retired from MS a long, long time ago.

  • Chony to the Max||

    If only heroic entrepreneur-gods acted the way they do in Atlas Shrugged.

  • ||

    yea baby, i got mine so eff you !

  • Tim||

    Gates: Everything that has transpired has done so according to my design. Your friends, up there on the internet, are walking into a trap, as is your Google fleet. It was *I* who allowed the regulators to know the location of the server. It is quite safe from your pitiful little band. An entire legion of my best troops awaits them. Oh, I'm afraid the search engine will be quite operational when your friends arrive.

  • AU H20||

    Your overconfidence is your weakness!

  • ||

    Google just needs to pay their fair share fare.

  • ||

    Why stop at Google? Apple has a 100% monopoly on the code development for IPhone apps. That should be a slam dunk anti trust case. Oh wait, you say liberals are sucking Apple's d***. I see.

  • ||

    100% monopoly on the code development for IPhone apps.

    Yet in no way does Apple have a monopoly on apps for smart phones.

  • ||

    As ever, there is an Iron Law at work here. The First Iron Law, in fact:

    Money and power will always find each other.

  • Boosh||

    Friedman said, coolly (and I'm paraphrasing): Everyone wants a free market for the other guy, but for themselves, they want benefits and favors.

  • ||

    *Only when Republicans are in charge.

  • ||

    That was a reply to R C Dean

  • Franklin Harris||

    Man, this reminds me of when Microsoft's competitors and the government ganged up on them. You know, back when Microsoft was still relevant.

    Shameless plug: In an amazing coincidence, I wrote about that just today: http://www.timesdaily.com/arti.....s-fleeting

  • ||

    Google’s powerful search engine and its move into other markets — from advertising to mobile phones to travel — has stunted industry-wide competition.

    How would another competitor entering markets stunt competition?

    Are we to believe that competition stunts competition?

  • sevo||

    Joshua Corning|3.31.11 @ 12:54PM|#
    "I guess....but the time between when Google started and when Google started lobbying government can be measured in milliseconds.

    That time for Microsoft can be measured in decades."

    Pretty sure Google watched the extortion of MS, took a look at the 'costs' of not paying off the guys with the guns, and decided to 'play' from the get-go.

  • ||

    yeah

    I am lamenting the govnmentization of the computer/internet industry.

    I am not saying Microsoft better then Google.

    I am saying the industry has now been subsumed.

  • NL||

    It would be a lot more efficient if governments could cut out the antitrust middleman and just tell successful companies how big a check to write.

    Regulators love big companies anyway. It's a lot easier dealing with a big behemoth with a large compliance department that nobody feels any sympathy for. Everyone feels bad for small businesses like hair-braiders, coffin-building monks, and street vendors who get tickets or fines. Everybody knows what tickets and fines feel like. But it's hard for non-libertarians to feel the same gut reaction when the fed's lawyers send a compliance letter to MegaCorp's lawyers.

  • ¢||

    Pretty sure Google watched the extortion of MS, took a look at the 'costs' of not paying off the guys with the guns, and decided to 'play' from the get-go.

    Google's "be useful to the state" mission doesn't show any sign of being defensive. They're way into it. Showed up for the first date fully lubed.

    Microsoft is kind of resentful about it, and in some fundamental way, doesn't seem to get it. Their "them too" demands always make the news. That means they're not making demands correctly, or to the right people—or they're not allowed to make them at all.

  • Microsoft office 2010||

    i always say, simple is best and your website demonstrates it so well. congratulations for the good work.

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