Microsoft Accuse Google of Blocking YouTube

News Article - Thursday, 03 January 2013 10:29

By: Kerry Butters Category: Connectivity

Microsoft has said that Google continue to carry out bad business practice, despite the scrutiny of "antitrust investigations”, as they are refusing Windows Phone owners the opportunity to use YouTube as an app on the Microsoft Platform.

According to Dave Heiner , Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft: "in 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube”.

"Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favourites (sic), see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.

He went on to say that the "future of search” was dependant on Google acting fairly in the marketplace and not attempting to monopolise the market. This, he said, is not just important for firms like Microsoft, but also for smaller companies, "whose business depend on a competitive search marketplace”.

Whilst Windows phones can still access YouTube, this can only be done through a browser, rather than a fully featured app, which Microsoft say they have ready to go, as soon as Google will allow them permission to access YouTube in the same manner that is allowed on an Android or Apple platform.

Google is being investigated on both sides of the Atlantic for its business practices; in the EU it’s thought that the European Commission and Google are working together to come up with a solution, but the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is reported to be closing its investigation in order to allow the search giants to make "voluntary commitments” for reform.

Microsoft say that the YouTube problem is just one of many "where [they] believe Google is impeding competition in the marketplace”.

In 2011, Microsoft and Apple formally complained to the FTC about Google’s behaviour on search in Europe and it seems that this has so far come to nothing as Google continue to block YouTube on Windows phones. Last month whilst in talks with YouTube, Microsoft say they were told that senior executives at Google had warned the video site not to enable a Windows app.

This, they say, harms both business and consumers as users want access to all of the web on every different mobile platform.

"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 pointed out.

Bearing this in mind, it will be interesting to see where this leads watchdog investigators this year as Google come under the spotlight for its practices once more.

UPDATE: The FTC announced  today that they will not be charging Google over claims of unfair search practices as it has found no evidence to support this, despite extensive investigation. However, Google have agreed to change its business practices to resolve the issue. This will allow competitors access to "standard essential patents", allowing advertisers more flexibility to use rival search search services.

Recent Articles