Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

Summary: Microsoft is filing its first ever official antitrust complaint on March 31. Not too surprisingly, it's against Google. More surprisingly, Microsoft's chosen the European Union antitrust courts -- which have proven more foe than friend to Redmond -- as the venue for the action.

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Microsoft is filing its first ever official antitrust complaint on March 31.

Not too surprisingly, it's against Google. More surprisingly, Microsoft's chosen the European Union antitrust courts -- which have proven more foe than friend to Redmond -- as the venue for the action.

The Microsoft complaint is focused largely around the search market and access to content and data in the mobile-phone space, as my ZDNet colleague Larry Dignan outlined.

As much as Microsoft and Google development teams are warring on the product and services front, the companies' lawyers are battling on the legal front.

Back in 1999, Microsoft was found to be a monopolist that abused its monopoly power in the PC operating system market by the U.S. antitrust courts. In a March 30, 2011, blog post by Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith, Microsoft makes the claim that Google is a monopolist in the search market. The reason Microsoft is filing the claim in Europe, Smith blogged, is that Google has 95 percent of the search market in Europe (as compared to 65 percent or so in the U.S., based on the latest comScore stats). Plus, there was already an antitrust investigation of Google underway in Europe.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the PC operating system market mattered a lot more than it does today, I'd argue. It determined the kinds of PCs that were available in the market, the cost of those PCs and the applications that users could access on those PCs. The dominance of Windows is what made Microsoft and continues to fuel the company's growth, to a large extent, even today.

However, with the growing importance of mobile phones and tablets/slates (in spite of Microsoft Chief Research and Strategy Officer Craig Mundie's claims to the contrary), being a PC monopolist ain't what it used to be....

With Web and mobile search and apps becoming increasingly important, search and online advertising are the new hotbed for competition -- and monopolization. Microsoft execs admitted just yesterday that the fastest growing (though not the largest) part of Microsoft's entire business is online advertising. Microsoft is currently generating $3 billion annually in sales in online advertising, company officials said.

I'm already seeing lots of "pot, meet kettle," comments about this from the peanut gallery. But let's not forget, Google was helping fuel the EU antitrust case brought by Opera against Microsoft, which resulted in a settlement by Microsoft, resulting in the creation of the browser ballot, among other "remedies." And before that, Microsoft ran afoul of the EU antitrust courts and was fined $1.4 billion for not providing adequate Windows and Office interoperability documentation itself.

Get ready for dueling monopolist banjos for the next few months/years. Once this one's over, or maybe before, I'm sure there will be a retaliatory legal action by Google against Microsoft, as well....

Related Reading:

Microsoft to file antitrust complaint vs. Google in EU

Microsoft exec confirms Redmond's involvement in antitrust inquiries about Google and search

Google seeks to join Internet Explorer antitrust complaint

Microsoft joins lobbying group battling Google ITA acquisition

Microsoft appeals $1.4 billion EU fine

Microsoft Yahoo partnership gets U.S., EU antitrust clearance

Topics: Hardware, Enterprise Software, Google, Microsoft, Security

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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126 comments
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  • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

    I'm glad to see Microsoft take some action against Google instead of the usual other way around. Google needs to be stopped from these monopolistic practices. Microsoft was wrong accused of it and had to go to courts, now its Google's turn. The big concern is the EU and their known Microsoft hating ways.
    Loverock Davidson
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

      @Loverock Davidson <br><i>"I'm glad to see Microsoft take some action..."</i><br><br>A better action would have been to get NoDo out to it's payed customers.
      Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        Got the NoDo update a week ago on my Samsung Omnia and it delivers on its promise. No complaints here. I am still waiting for Google Wave though.

        Back to the subject: Actually Microsoft filed an earlier antitrust complaint against Google with the EU through its German daughter Ciao.

        Let?s be honest: Google had it coming.
        ronald@...
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Return_of_the_jedi
        NoDo is out.
        Loverock Davidson
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @ronald<br><br><i>"...delivers on its promise.."</i>
        <br>Hmm, "cut and paste will be here is two weeks". That was back in December 2010. So is AT&T playing an April fools joke with NoDo?
        Return_of_the_jedi
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Return_of_the_jedi

        I'm installing the NoDo update now thanks to this trick:

        http://bit.ly/h79Jvq (Pocketnow.com)

        Stunned that it worked!
        NortherngeekUK
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Return_of_the_jedi - you keep spewing the same crap so I'll keep pointing out the same answers:

        <i>"So is AT&T playing an April fools joke with NoDo? "</i>
        <b>YES</b>. The FACT that almost every other carrier's NoDo updates are either scheduled or shipping while ALL of AT&T's updates are <b>STILL</b> in testing makes it clear where the responsibility lays.
        bitcrazed
      • Will you look at this - the NoDo update!

        @Return_of_the_jedi

        What are you talking about?
        Will Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Return_of_the_jedi I agree , this will be a better action <a href="http://www.drstevenjwhitereviews.com/">Dr Steven J White Reviews</a>
        <a href="http://www.drsharonpackerreviews.com/">Dr Sharon Packer Reviews</a>
        <a href="http://www.drsydneycolemanreviews.com/">Dr Sydney Coleman Reviews</a>
        ripslyme00
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Return_of_the_jedi Microsoft will never be capable of outranking Google with anything.<br><a href="http://www.ofertareonline.ro/plase-insecte.html">Plase Insecte</a>
        termopane
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

      @Loverock Davidson
      Google is definitely a monopoly and should be taken to task for any anti-competitive behaviors they engage in.

      But to say MS *wasn't* is just crazy.

      Europe's (and to a lesser extent, the US') antitrust actions are, I think, major reasons why there even is a Google today. If they hadn't been under such close scrutany, MS would probably have *bought* Google five years ago.

      Thus, I a wholly support the actions taken against MS, and will wholly support any new actions taken against Google. Both of these companies need to be kept on short leashes.
      x I'm tc
    • What happen

      @Loverock Davidson :
      What happen when a fanatic goes beyond the fanaticism limit?;becomes stupid.
      stupid:
      1. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
      2. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.(as not read the article)
      3. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless

      @Loverock Davidson :"Microsoft was wrong accused of it and had to go to courts"

      A federal judge declared Friday that Microsoft Corp. possesses monopoly power in the market for PC operating systems and harmed consumers through its anti-competitive behavior, giving the government a pivotal victory in the long-running antitrust trial.
      http://money.cnn.com/1999/11/05/technology/microsoft_finding/
      Marco nn
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Marco nn
        Like I said, Microsoft was wrongly accused.
        Loverock Davidson
      • Theory

        Although... there is a theory; some people become idiots using Windows (like TV), because Windows\TV makes their intelligence and creativity sub normal.
        "Therefore, if you want sons, with different mental clarity than 'Loverock Davidson' ?use Linux" Ha,ha,ha.
        Sorry I cannot resist...
        Marco nn
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Loverock
        Would this be the SAME case where the CEO was caught lying while on the stand and using fabricated videos?

        No, they were accused correctly and found guilty.
        THavoc
    • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

      @Loverock Davidson That's because you're the biggest blithering idiot here on ZDNet, and you're the reason people come here to get their fill of IT journalistic BS on a daily basis.

      No one comes here for real news, it's like Weekly World News of IT..all crap and garbage.

      Congrats moron, Endgadget and Gizmodo for the win.
      IAmLegion2011
      • I'll disagree with you.

        @IAmLegion2011
        There are a few others who I think beat Loverock -
        Donnieboy, itguy08, Return_of_the_jedi, and a few others.
        Will Farrell
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Will Farrell
        Of course they'll 'beat' Loverock. None of them are idiotic, slavering fanbui tools like you do.
        LTV10
      • OH LOOK EVERYBODY! IT MUST BE CYBERSLAMMER2, RON B again...

        @IAmLegion2011

        LMAO! you got kicked off Zdnet so many times, you've had to come up with a new name again, huh?

        Well, you still can't get enough ZDNet, can you? even though you say this on your blog? http://zdnetfollies.blogspot.com

        [i]"You're a useless waste of a site ZDNet, your bull$hit meter is through the roof most of the time on your news stories, and your writers are paid tabloid IT ambulance chasers who are about as clueless as a blind man using a touch screen. Endgadget and Gizmodo is where it's at, and..."[/i]

        Nice going, Ace.
        SonofaSailor
      • RE: Microsoft vs. Google: Dueling monopolist banjos

        @Sonofacoward

        What if it was F@G boy? You post a lot of smack yet I bet you're some 100 pound failure who doesn't have the balls to say what you say in person. You're a failure in real life and a waste of space but I'm sure your parents are aware of it.
        IAmLegion2011