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Microsoft Files Complaint With EU Commission Over Google's Dominance
engine




msg:4289983
 8:15 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Files Complaint With EU Commission Over Google's Dominance In Europe [blogs.technet.com]
Microsoft is filing a formal complaint with the European Commission as part of the Commission’s ongoing investigation into whether Google has violated European competition law. We thought it important to be transparent and provide some information on what we’re doing and why.

At the outset, we should be among the first to compliment Google for its genuine innovations, of which there have been many over the past decade. As the only viable search competitor to Google in the U.S. and much of Europe, we respect their engineering prowess and competitive drive. Google has done much to advance its laudable mission to “organize the world’s information,” but we’re concerned by a broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative.

We’ve therefore decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns about the European search market. By the European Commission’s own reckoning, Google has about 95 percent of the search market in Europe. This contrasts with the United States, where Microsoft serves about a quarter of Americans’ search needs either directly through Bing or through our partnership with Yahoo!.


 

albo




msg:4290531
 3:42 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes, Microsoft is a dubious source for this sort of gripe. But for me, there was one particular element of validity. "You go there of your own volition," @incrediBILL? Perhaps so, in some ways. Google comes as the default SE on all browsers I've installed. It takes some effort to shift to a different default SE. (Quid-pro-quo for Google and the browser writers, of course.)

So I don't look at this as a matter of "You go there" but more a matter of "You try to go away from there." (Or as Google tries to call it, "Another SE is just a click away." Well, er, several clicks.)

[Edit: and maybe my older iPod Touch is different from the more modern ones, but its Safari won't accept Bing as a default SE - the choice is Google or Yahoo.]

koan




msg:4290543
 4:38 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Meanwhile browsing Microsoft's web properties is always a terrible experience unless you use their own Internet Explorer. This company has always tried to enforce their dominance by locking consumers to their product. Suddenly they wish for healthy and fair competition? They don't know the meaning of it.

np2003




msg:4290553
 5:38 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why is Google blocking Microsoft from accessing Youtube and it's contents?

I think Microsoft should do the same. Block Google off MSN, MSNBC, Facebook, Xbox network of sites. Google won't be so great if a few million pages are missing from its index.

bazza9




msg:4290661
 11:55 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the big surprise here is that EU regulators haven't looked at this issue before.

Taking paid search as an example, it does seem that Google already has a monopoly position in Europe. That's simply not good news for other businesses or consumers.

Samizdata




msg:4290726
 1:56 pm on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google comes as the default SE on all browsers I've installed

The dominant browser on the dominant platform is Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Its default search engine is not Google.

It takes some effort to shift to a different default SE

A lot of people must be making that effort.

..

IanKelley




msg:4291326
 9:48 pm on Apr 2, 2011 (gmt 0)

Without getting into the argument about whether there should be government intervention where Google is concerned and just looking at MS' points:

- Using technical measures to stop Microsoft's search engine Bing from indexing content on Google-owned YouTube.
- Blocking Microsoft Smartphones from operating properly with YouTube.

I call BS. This will turn out to be an implementation error on MS' part... wouldn't surprise me if it was intentional in order to create the problem.

Making things technically difficult for competitors is something MS is famous for, they have a long history of abuse where that is concerned. For the most part other tech companies don't stoop that low. As far as I know Google has never even been accused of it.

- Controlling access to online copies of out-of-copyright books.

Translation: offering books online which, being out of copyright, anyone else can offer online as well. Huh?

- Limiting the ability of businesses to reclaim "their own information" generated through Google advertising campaigns for use elsewhere.

Contrived... Google provides businesses with more information about their campaigns than most and they don't even suggest that business don't run their own metrics. Reclaim? As if the data can only exist in one place? Or is the implication that Google is sneaking into people's servers at night and stealing their access logs? :-)

- Compelling leading websites to only use Google search boxes on their pages.

Very silly. Bing makes the same kinds of deals. The websites in question are free to sign a deal with Bing (or whoever) instead of Google if they want.

Does Bing consider potential regulators in Europe to be fools? I guess that's not unreasonable considering how internet regulation has been going the last few years.

swa66




msg:4291504
 5:08 pm on Apr 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

At the core of EU "rules" is the prohibition on using market dominance to prevent other players in OTHER markets from doing their thing and competing there.

MSFT will have to first proof how they see the complaints as originating from abusing a dominance in the search market that Google has. The examples don't go there.

On the contrary: MSFT could easily be accused of abusing their dominance on the desktop OS to gain an unfair advantage in the search market by making bing the default search engine ...

I'd just love to see it snap back at MSFT. Their arrogant attitude luckily doesn't fly with the commission (the EU).

m0thman




msg:4291551
 7:40 pm on Apr 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bing is actually a better search engine anyway


Dude, April fools day has passed.

m0thman




msg:4291552
 7:49 pm on Apr 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Meanwhile browsing Microsoft's web properties is always a terrible experience unless you use their own Internet Explorer. This company has always tried to enforce their dominance by locking consumers to their product. Suddenly they wish for healthy and fair competition? They don't know the meaning of it.


Well said!

albo




msg:4291627
 11:23 pm on Apr 3, 2011 (gmt 0)

Samizdata: "The dominant browser on the dominant platform is Microsoft Internet Explorer.

Its default search engine is not Google."

My bad, you're right of course. M$ changed the default from
Google to Bing in 2009.

walkman




msg:4291661
 12:36 am on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

Either way for us would be best to have 4-5 search engines with no more than 30% in one.

skibum




msg:4291707
 4:24 am on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

It doesn't seem that the Google monopoly is so bad for consumers since they have Bing, Yahoo! and other sources of information. The Google monopoly is bad for businesses, advertisers. If you are in Europe and selling things via the web you'd have a very hard time getting started and really making it by being able to target only 5% of your target market if the bids were to high or you couldn't advertise on Google for whatever reason.

It seems like the only real way to stop the spread of domination might be to limit the acquisitions Google can make but there never seems to be any real analysis of how the acquisitions they make will affect the advertising market or the consumer. Has any acquisition of theirs ever been turned down?

swa66




msg:4291785
 12:17 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

There are plenty of non-Google advertising platforms active in Europe. YPN obviously not as they aren't even interested in publishers not living in the USA. But there are plenty, just check your favorite newspaper website and -at least for those I've tried- no adwords in sight.

Sure those ad networks do not always cater for the mom-and-pop type of advertiser, but there is plenty of competition and it is used by large publishers, so there is opportunity to advertise outside of adwords.

But even if there were no opportunity to advertise outside of adwords, how would that be linked to google abusing their dominance in search ?

IanKelley




msg:4291996
 8:49 pm on Apr 4, 2011 (gmt 0)

being able to target only 5% of your target market


I'd like to see a source for that number... Facebook alone would account for more than 5%.

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