Microsoft Fuels Antitrust Battle with Google
(NEW YORK) -- Microsoft is making a last-ditch effort to get government regulators to crack down on Google.
The Windows company claims Google is abusing its dominance of online search, online video and the lucrative smartphone market. Microsoft also says Google has been unfairly squashing competition to the detriment of consumers.
Microsoft's claims come as regulators in the U.S. and Europe wrap up several probes into Google's business practices. Microsoft is worried Google will settle with the governments without having to make any major changes.
Microsoft Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner wrote Wednesday in a blog post about Google's potential deal to ward off a lawsuit by the Federal Trade Commission.
"You might think that Google would be on its best behavior given it’s under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents, particularly as it seeks to assure antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe that it can be trusted on the basis of non-binding assurances that it will not abuse its market position further," Heiner wrote. "However, as we enter 2013, that is not the case."
One example, Heiner highlights, is that Google still has not allowed Microsoft to offer a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone. Microsoft has taken issue with Google's refusal to allow YouTube on the company's smartphone since at least 2011, according to the Wall Street Journal.
If Google can agree to make "'voluntary commitments' to reform its behavior," Heiner wrote, "the FTC may close its investigation," an outcome Microsoft hopes it won't see.
According to Heiner, any agreement between Google and the antitrust authorities "appears to be less demanding than the pledge the U.S. Department of Justice received from Apple and Microsoft nearly a year ago."
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