Microsoft to FTC: Take Antitrust Action Against Google

Blog is latest twist in ongoing feud

There's no love lost between Microsoft and Google. Fierce competitors, the two often snipe at each other in public. In the latest twist to the ongoing feud, Microsoft's vp and general counsel Dave Heiner argues that it's high time Google faced what Microsoft faced back in the 90s: antitrust enforcement.

What's got Microsoft's Heiner up in arms are recent reports that the Federal Trade Commission may close its two-year antitrust investigation into Google by allowing Google to make voluntary commitments to reform how it handles its search dominance and mobile patents.

Google, Heiner suggested today in a blog post, can't be trusted. "You might think that Google would be on its best behavior given it’s under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents, particularly as it seeks to assure antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe that it can be trusted on the basis of non-binding assurances that it will not abuse its market position further," Heiner wrote.

Microsoft's case-in-point is Google's alleged refusal to allow Microsoft's new Windows phones to properly access YouTube with the same functionality offered on competing phones like Apple's iPhone and Google Android smartphones.

"Google dismisses these concerns as little more than sour grapes by one of its competitors. But the reality is that consumers and competitors alike are getting “scroogled” across the Web on a daily basis from this type of misconduct," Heiner wrote. "Hopefully, Google will wake up to a New Year with a resolution to change its ways and start to conform with the antitrust laws. If not, then 2013 hopefully will be the year when antitrust enforcers display the resolve that Google continues to lack."

Google said Microsoft has it all wrong. "Contrary to Microsoft’s claims, it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows phones. Windows phone users can access all the features of YouTube through our HTML-5-based mobile website … In fact, we've worked with Microsoft for several years to help build a great YouTube experience on Windows phones," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement.