Microsoft is behind Google antitrust complaint

Google said that it had received a notice from the European Commission that it had received complaints from three European companies about its business practices.

Julia Holtz, Senior Competition Counsel at Google, wrote: Google Public Policy Blog: Committed to competing fairly

Foundem – a member of an organisation called ICOMP which is funded partly by Microsoftargues that our algorithms demote their site in our results because they are a vertical search engine and so a direct competitor to Google.’s complaint seems to echo these concerns.

…Regarding Ciao!, they were a long-time AdSense partner of Google’s, with whom we always had a good relationship. However, after Microsoft acquired Ciao! in 2008 (renaming it Ciao! from Bing) we started receiving complaints about our standard terms and conditions. They initially took their case to the German competition authority, but it now has been transferred to Brussels.

She added that Google is not “doing anything to choke off competition or hurt our users and partners.”

GoogleForemski’s Take
Google is clearly keen to play up the Microsoft connection. This could be viewed as payback by Microsoft for Google’s prior anti-trust complaints about Microsoft.

But if Google and Microsoft start to escalate their competitive battles by using using anti-trust complaints against each other, Microsoft has a massive advantage. It is well versed in anti-trust laws here in the US, and also in the European Union, because it has had to defend itself against such complaints for many years.

Microsoft knows the anti-trust legal landscape very well, while Google does not.

Tom Foremski’s web site is Silicon Valley Watcher.