Microsoft complains about Google’s search practices

Microsoft has accused arch-rival Google of failing to address anti-competition concerns relating to its web search business.

In a company blog post published yesterday, Microsoft's deputy general counsel David Heiner wrote that despite an ongoing anti-trust investigation by the European Commission, Google has yet to resolve allegedly anti-competitive practices.

Specifically, Google has yet to make full search functionality available on the Microsoft Windows Phone version of its YouTube video streaming app, Heiner wrote – a complaint Microsoft first raised in 2011.

"Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy," he alleged. "Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers.

"As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."

Heiner wrote that Google's refusal to support full search for YouTube on Windows Phone "deprives consumers who use competing platforms of a comparable experience in accessing content that is generally available on the Web, And it’s inconsistent, to say the least, with Google’s public insistence that other competing services, such as Facebook, should offer Google complete access to their content so they can index and include it on their search site."

Google's search practices are currently under investigation on both sides of the Atlantic. Both the EC and the US Federal Trade Commission have asked the web giant to make a number of changes to the way its search engine operates.

According to a recent report in the Telegraph, the EC is seeking more substantial changes than the FTC.

Many commenters on Heiner's post suggested that it is ironic for Microsoft to be complaining about anti-competitive business practices.

In the early 2000s, Microsoft faced similar accusations about access to the application programming interfaces for its Windows operating system. Competitors alleged that it kept details of the APIs secret in order to make its Internet Explorer browser work better. A US judge ruled that Microsoft must reveal the full details of the APIs to rival browser makers.

Avatar photo

Ben Rossi

Ben was Vitesse Media's editorial director, leading content creation and editorial strategy across all Vitesse products, including its market-leading B2B and consumer magazines, websites, research and...

Related Topics