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.
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
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
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.