Google: EU opens investigation with Microsoft prodding

Google: EU opens investigation with Microsoft prodding

Summary: Google said the European Commission has opened an investigation into the company's power over the advertising industry. Google also said that Microsoft is the driving force behind the company's regulatory headache.

SHARE:
45

Google said the European Commission has opened an investigation into the company's power over the advertising industry. Google also said that Microsoft is the driving force behind the company's regulatory headache.

In a blog post, Google said that three Internet companies have filed complaints with the EC. The companies---Foundem, ejustice.fr and Microsoft's Ciao! from Bing---lobbed the complaints.

Google said that it's not surprised that there's the scrutiny given its sheer girth. The search giant said it will also cooperate and that it is confident that its business "operates in the interests of users and partners, as well as in line with European competition law."

The twist in Google's blog post is that it's pretty clear about how it feels about the companies complaining. Google, looking to get ahead of the news cycle, declares that Microsoft is playing a big role. To wit:

Foundem - a member of an organisation called ICOMP which 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.

And.

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.

You can expect a lot of back and forth about algorithms and search rankings going forward along with a healthy dose of sniping.

One thing is certain: These EU investigations don't end overnight. These probes take a while and usually end in concessions and/or fines being paid.

Topics: Microsoft, Browser, Google

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

45 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Great

    Is this what competition has come to? I don't like you so I'm going to complain....


    Still, I do agree that Google is working its way into a dangerous position.
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • How does your own medicine taste, GOOG?

      A little payback is due after that default IE browser brouhaha in EC.
      LBiege
    • Yep....

      Microsoft has dealt with it for years so not sure why they aren't supposed to dish it out as well. Not like anyone ever sided with Microsoft so what do they have to loose.

      I think its overblown in many cases but most dish out what they recieve.
      OhTheHumanity
      • Well...

        We've yet to see how this pans out, but do note, for the most part in the past Microsoft have the track record of being almost always found to be at fault, guilty if you like.

        So, here's hoping this is a for real concern regarding google rather than a childish and spiteful "we'll get you for getting us" response.
        zkiwi
  • And why not? According to DonnieBoy

    Google was having a great time interfearing with MS's inquireries into merging with Yahoo, simply to interfear.

    http://talkback.zdnet.com/5208-10532-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=43844&messageID=810872&tag=content;col1

    So I guess he would agree that paybacks a beatch, and this is fine.
    John Zern
    • And of course, no sign of donnieboy.

      Gee, I wonder why. ROFLMAO
      No_Ax_to_Grind
      • Nor D.T. Schmidt, Linux* et al!

        Interesting, that!
        de-void-21165590650301806002836337787023
  • sooner or later those two will drop the glove

    you can be sure of that .
    get the beer and munchys expect body part to fly.


    Have a great evening
    Quebec-french
  • What a bunch of whiners...

    You gotta love the irony of this occurance.
    CrashPad
  • complaint against MS were from Google sponsored companies

    When complaints were made to the EU on the browser issues, the companies complaining were Opera and Mozilla.
    Coincidentally 2 companies that rely on Google for their revenues.
    De browserballot screen, that MS was forced into, shows 5 prominent browsers. In 4 of those 5 browsers Google controls the searchengine settings.
    IE9
  • RE: Google: EU opens investigation with Microsoft prodding

    Microsoft has every right to complain. Google's done it to them many times. Payback is a b*tch isn't it Google? Now lets see how much bribe money Google gives to the EC to make this case go away.
    Loverock Davidson
    • Seeing as you seem to know all about...

      Bribes, you probably know how much money Microsoft brought to the EC outside of fines as their bribe to make their cases "go away." Or, perhaps you're just wrong as is usual.

      Now get back into line outside an Apple store and wait patiently for your iPad.
      zkiwi
  • In Before the "M$ Is EviLLLLLLL" Posts

    Now, before we all go bat shit insane on MS, don't pretend that other companies don't prod investigations into Microsoft.

    Quid pro quo, guys, quid pro quo.
    jmarkovic32
  • M$ crooks are damaging a great US company

    EU has no business investigating google because it is an American company.
    This is a typical case of 'if you can't win, sue' that the natzis from M$ are using against an innocent company.
    Google should call out M$ for instigating against its great services and open a liebel law suit in US.
    Linux Geek
    • Um, Google did exactly the same thing to MS...

      ...only using Opera and Mozilla as their cat's paws.

      MS is an American company too you know. :)

      Oh, and it's "MS", "Nazi", and "libel". Doesn't Linux have spell checking? (chuckle)
      wolf_z
      • Hey not fair...

        Linux does... it's just that some people even
        with MS Word make horrendous mistakes just
        because they're bad spellers and can't be
        bothered to correct themselves.

        Spelling, at least, is not an issue with
        operating systems.

        I, myself, actually don't use a spell checker
        at all. I use the one in my head... the same
        one I use when writing by hand... :D :D :D
        dacentaur@...
        • Correction...

          "Spelling, at least, is not an issue with
          operating systems."

          That can only be true in a GUI based command input. When you get into shells and other CLIs, spelling counts as far as meeting the requirements of lbeing a proper command or parameter/argument.

          Other than that, in this day and age of text messaging and laziness, spelling skills are going down the tubes.
          DaemonSlayer
    • too funny....'because it is an American company'..

      "EU has no business investigating google because
      it is an American company."

      Microsoft is an American company too.. lol
      iceman357
      • Even funnier...

        is that there is no such thing as an "American" global corporation. They are all totally global now.

        The world economy is getting too big, thus, the U.S. is foreshadowed.

        That is the "new world order" now, had you all heard? ROTFLOL!! :^0
        JCitizen
    • Buwahahahaha, listen to'em whine.

      Pay Back time!
      No_Ax_to_Grind