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.