Microsoft and Google step up their anti-trust battles

It's payback time for Google as the EU investigates Google, prompted by Microsoft. But Microsoft knows how to use anti-trust laws...

Google said on Tuesday that it had received notice from the European Commission that it would investigate complaints by three European companies, two of them Microsoft backed.

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

Foundem - a member of an organisation called ICOMPwhich is funded partly by Microsoft - argues that our algorithms demote their site in our results because they are a vertical search engine and so a direct competitor to Google. ejustice.fr'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 said that Google is not "doing anything to choke off competition or hurt our users and partners."

Google has filed anti-trust complaints against Microsoft in the past so this can be seen as payback. Filing anti-trust complaints against each other is a risky game for Google. Microsoft has far more experience with anti-trust laws, here in the US and and Europe, because it has battled such complaints for years. Microsoft's legal teams have a massive amount of knowledge about how to defend against such complaints. And they also know how to craft anti-trust complaints against Google and how to use those complex legal strategies in the most effective manner. Eric Schmidt, Google CEO, is no stranger to filing anti-trust complaints against Microsoft. When he ran Novell, Microsoft was its top competitor. But using the same tactics at Google could prove to be a mistake, given Microsoft's long history and expertise in dealing with anti-trust issues.

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