Microsoft is demanding the European Union begin an antitrust trial investigating Google, with the company planning to make an official request today. According to Microsoft’s Senior Vice President & General Counsel, Brad Smith, the company is “concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative” and points to two interventions by the US Department of Justice as evidence that steps are required to “thwart Google’s unlawful conduct from impeding fair competition.”
Now, Microsoft argues, the same Google slap-down needs to be carried out in Europe, where the company is already responsible for around 95-percent of search. Smith points to a number of cases there Google has limited rivals’ access to data and thus impacted their ability to create competitive products, such as preventing the Windows Phone OS from accessing YouTube metadata.
Microsoft is upfront about the potential irony of the situation; after all, it itself was the subject of European Commission investigations. On that matter, Smith says:
“Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly. This is the first time Microsoft Corporation has ever taken this step. More so than most, we recognize the importance of ensuring that competition laws remain balanced and that technology innovation moves forward.”
Google is yet to comment on the allegations.