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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!.


 

jecasc




msg:4290024
 9:48 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

In my opinon they should break up Google, like they did with Standard Oil in the last century. Break it up into seperate search engines for web, local, shopping and pictures, gmail, videos and so on. Would be better for users and for content providers.

Take Google Shopping or Google merchant center for example. It totally sucks compared to competing shopping and price comparing websites. I wouldn't bother with it normally if they hadn't integrated it into their normal SERPS and if they had not integrated it into Adwords Ad Extensions. Like Microsoft used their dominance in Operating Systems to boost an inferior Browser they are using their dominance in search to boost inferior products.

[edited by: jecasc at 9:52 am (utc) on Mar 31, 2011]

incrediBILL




msg:4290026
 9:52 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Why should they break up Google?

You go there of your own volition and it's FREE, they don't charge you to use it, they don't even shove it in your face!

No government intervention needed, other choices, but people seem to prefer Google so they should be broken up over being popular?

Google doesn't make Google popular, YOU DO!

Stop going to Google, Google dies, done.

Then what, we start chanting to break up Microsoft again?

piatkow




msg:4290028
 9:59 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The issue is that "google" has become a verb meaning to search the internet. If you are going to "google" for something then you won't be "googling" at Bing.

As a webmaster I am too dependent on Google SERPS and would love to see more variety in search engine usage. How to break that dominance is another matter. Force G to change its name?

jecasc




msg:4290032
 10:22 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

You go there of your own volition and it's FREE, they don't charge you to use it, they don't even shove it in your face!

The problem is not that they provide "free" service. The problem is that they are using their dominance in search to promote other products and services and so destroying (better) competitors. Or preventing access to their services by competitors.

This is not a problem when you are John Small and are running several websites. If you however dominate 95% of a market this is called abuse of a dominant market position. Monopolies in former times used their market position to undercut prices and then when the competition was destroyed they would raise their prices. Today things are different. Take the navigation market for example. Google is destroying competitors by offering free Google maps navigation. However they won't charge you with money. You pay with information about yourself and the information about you and your whereabouts is then sold to the highest bidder. And then - even if you are willing to pay for services in order to protect your privacy you won't be able to. Because no competiors exist.
The pattern is the same only the currency has changed. The new currency is your personal data.

PCInk




msg:4290035
 10:30 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Being free is irrelevant. They are a profit making company with competitors that are affected and Europe allow competition but not monopolies.

Think of the Royal Bank of Scotland. They are a bank I can put money into and they don't charge the customer for this service (in most cases). You can use them for free for basic services.

Hasn't stopped the EU breaking them up into separate companies for apparently being too large.

It's the first time I have remember Microsoft on the complainant end of competition suit. They are usually defending!

incrediBILL




msg:4290048
 10:53 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Too funny.

Provide competition, not legislation.

Take the money wasted with government nonsense and subsidize a competitor, it's called a grant.

walkman




msg:4290053
 11:03 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

"Provide competition, not legislation. "

Smart from MSFT. Google did and would do the same.

scooterdude




msg:4290054
 11:06 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

This bit below is interesting

"broadening pattern of conduct aimed at stopping anyone else from creating a competitive alternative. "

mark_roach




msg:4290058
 11:11 am on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The issue is that "google" has become a verb meaning to search the internet. If you are going to "google" for something then you won't be "googling" at Bing.


Agree on your first point. I have heard many people use the term "Google it" to mean search. I think they believe it makes them sound cool, so tell them it doesn't. I told my wife the same last night and have lived to tell the tale. Let people know there are other search engines.

I also still "hoover", well actually my wife does :-), but haven't owned one since the 80s. So it wouldn't surprise me if we were all still "googling" in the future when Google itself has become nothing more than a bit part player.

Shaddows




msg:4290120
 1:38 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

According to the BBC [bbc.co.uk], the reason isnt so much dominance as abuse of position.
The software maker claims that Google used its dominant position in the search market to restrict the growth of Microsoft services.

It cites a number of practices, including Google limiting the ability of Microsoft Bing to index web content.


From the blog post referenced by the OP, the BBC summarises 5 areas of concern:
- 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.

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

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

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

walkman




msg:4290141
 2:00 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Either way, this puts Google on the defensive and launches a thousand bureaucrats with virtually unlimited power and money on them.

jwolthuis




msg:4290147
 2:13 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Provide competition, not legislation.


Agreed. That is why MS needs access to the YouTube metadata [as stated in the article]. What other motive might Google have in blocking these data, other than to stifle competition?

BeeDeeDubbleU




msg:4290149
 2:22 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Stop going to Google, Google dies, done.

I don't want Google to die. I just want it to get a debilitating wound so that some other SEs can get in the fight with half a chance. ;)

incrediBILL




msg:4290160
 2:44 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

OK, Stop Going to Google so FREQUENYLY and it loses dominance.

That was easy, I'm running for office, NEXT!

MrFewkes




msg:4290173
 3:05 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think the MS arguments are weak to be honest.

I think they will need to do better than that.

This doesnt mean I like google - it means I hope they do better than that.

All MS has to do is offer websites something to link to them for in the millions and shove bing in front of the planets faces for a year or so. Their TV ad investment was grossly misplaced and someone should be sacked for that dross.

My 2c
:)

Sgt_Kickaxe




msg:4290221
 4:45 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Microsoft ensured they will never become dominant again, otherwise the EU tables will turn on them as well.

ron15




msg:4290272
 5:57 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

I for one "bing" every search I conduct. Anyone that is concerned with having the internet be more than Google, might consider doing the same. Bing is actually a better search engine anyway.

As much as it might pain me, I'm considering giving up my Android phone, too. I really don't want big brother, I mean Google, in my life.

iThink




msg:4290337
 8:03 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

There were a number of companies like Netscape, Novell and Sun who were part of similar legal action against Microsoft in 1990s. All such whiners have already been consigned to the trash bin of history. What did those losers gained by complaining loudly?

Wonder why Microsoft is refusing to learn from history.

walkman




msg:4290362
 9:19 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

What did those losers gained by complaining loudly? Wonder why Microsoft is refusing to learn from history.


Let's see, MSFT is not Google when it comes to the internet today, is it? Just to throw Google off their path a bit is huge for MSFT, the EU people cannot be bribed as easily by lobbyists.

Shaddows




msg:4290367
 9:28 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Legal action against MS did not help the "whiners" but it did stop MS abusing their position. It leveled the playing field for the next generation of challengers.

Anyway, this is merely the latest salvo in the "battle for hearts and minds" - a PR war that depends upon casting Google in the role of villain. Most people just see G as benign, much as MS was perceived before legal battles of the 90's.

walkman




msg:4290377
 9:41 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

"It leveled the playing field for the next generation of challengers. "

Or it stopped MSFT quite a bit. If Google is stopped, consider it mission accomplished. Netscape etc were too small, MSFT is not, and is going full force on search, maps, cloud etc.

incrediBILL




msg:4290380
 9:49 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Yes but MSFT was different, they dominated the OS in the PC, at the time almost all your hardware purchased was tied to MS and they used that position of power to force MSIE on people, then point it to MSN, etc.

Google has no dominant position forced on anyone, it's not an oil company or utility that can't easily be replaced simply by typing "bing.com" - opposed to MSFT and PCs which there was no choice back in the day, you got MSFT no matter what unless you (puke) went to Apple.

If choice causes anti-trust, then anti-trust is busted and needs a re-write.

Anytime you can escape by merely changing the URL to Yahoo.com, Bing.com, etc., how the heck is it dominance other than of the minds and souls of the people?

It's not like when AT&T owned every wire running to every home and you had no choice of phone company, or back when the cable company was the only game in town. Now that we have internet phones for free, satellite TV, heck you can even stream TV over the internet, lots of choices. Just like Google is a choice.

What will the EU do?

Tell the people to stop choosing Google and then punish Google if the people don't listen?

"I'm sorry Mr. Google, you're way to popular, you must be drawn and quartered and your parts sent to the far corners of the kingdom. The naughty bits we'll keep in a drawer to my right.".

Went over real well with William Wallace too.

Sorry, I'm on the side of silly for this one, silly and sillier.

scooterdude




msg:4290387
 10:01 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google not dominant ?

So everyone here is not scared #*$!less of

penalties,
adsense issues
algo shifts

incrediBILL




msg:4290388
 10:06 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google not dominant ?

So everyone here is not scared #*$!less of

penalties,
adsense issues
algo shifts


Switch to Bing, tell all your friends to switch to Bing. Don't use AdSense, block Google in robots.txt, you have choices to make. Problem solved.

But that won't happen, greed wins out, it's OUR greed giving them dominance, not theirs, that's the part people don't get. We can dismantle Google in a day. Everyone on the planet simply stops using them. Done. Google gone. Panda is back to zoology and Google search engineers are unemployed.

Really want Google gone? Take ALL your AdWords dollars elsewhere and refuse to put another dollar back into the machine. You feed it, stop feeding it.

No changes required but mindset and the so-called monopoly dissolves faster than Charlie Sheens TV career.

scooterdude




msg:4290396
 10:15 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

The power Google wields is obvious especially here

mindset

Sometimes, a power becomes so great that the normal process of market control such as competion are suborned, undermined by the power of the great power to change the landscape,

Perhaps we do need a statutory referee to intervene

incrediBILL




msg:4290406
 10:27 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

Perhaps we do need a statutory referee to intervene


You mean you can't type BING unless big brother tells you to do it?

scooterdude




msg:4290412
 10:38 pm on Mar 31, 2011 (gmt 0)

So, do we need to have a conversation about the mechanics of

Brand success, human habit, dominant technology, dominant relationship with just about every webmaster on webmastersworld,

About why a New macDonalds Branch is curtains for almost any independent burger joint within walking distance

It must be shameful for the bing folk to go down this route,,

Serious conversations are being held on this issue, by folk who have a lot at stake,

We also have a lot at stake and its mildly amusing how we elect to recognise this

Who knows , ,,

backdraft7




msg:4290471
 1:19 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

Microsoft complaining about dominance? If that's not the pot calling the kettle black.

moTi




msg:4290477
 1:31 am on Apr 1, 2011 (gmt 0)

google being the search engine for 95% of european users is not the issue.

there is rather a problem with two components:

1. google abusing this position by throwing around free services that have nothing to do with its core business, thereby destroying legit competition. as their free services don't bring in any money, they are completely subsidized by adwords.

2. the double-dependency of businesses on google a) to bring in the visitors and b) to monetize these visitors through a deal on contextual advertising with the same company.

solution:

1. prohibit google from cross-subsidizing its market-distorting endeavors.

2. break google up into a search company and an advertising company.

This 44 message thread spans 2 pages: 44 ( [1] 2 > >
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