Microsoft claims Google's blocking YouTube on Windows Phone

Microsoft is claiming Google is preventing it from building a YouTube App for Windows Phone and in turn breaking competition laws.

The software company has been in a long running dispute with Google, saying it has prevented it from offering users a fully featured YouTube app for Windows Phone, despite allowing similar apps for Android and Apple.

YouTube for Windows Phone is currently a wrapper for the mobile web version of the site, because it doesn’t have access to full APIs. Android and Apple users however, are given more features including search, favourites and ratings

The complaints, listed by Dave Heiner, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel at Microsoft on the company’s blog, are part of an investigation into Google by the Federal Trade Commission and the European Commission, which two years ago opened antitrust investigations into Google’s business practices.

At the time the watchdogs aimed to look into anticompetition allegations surrounding the company, with fears that it was unethically dominating search and advertising channels.

Now Heiner is claiming that despite YouTube execs being happy about providing Microsoft with the service, it learnt last month that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a “first-class YouTube experience” on Windows Phones.

He said the reason for this stubbornness was as a result of Microsoft offering a competing search service.

Techcrunch believes Google wants to control the entire app experience, which it could struggle to do on the Windows Phone platform, especially if it’s an app built by Microsoft. It said this was because the company could struggle to offer the ad strategy it has so far been able to on other platforms.

Google argues, despite Microsoft’s complaints, it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows Phone.

In a statement, Google said that Windows phone users could access all the features of YouTube through Google’s HTML5-based mobile website, including viewing high-quality video streams, finding favorite videos, seeing video ratings, and searching for video categories.