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March 31, 2011

Microsoft complains to EU against Google’s monopoly in search

Google says it is not surprised and ready to present details

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has filed a formal complaint with the European Commission, the EU’s antitrust regulator, about Google’s dominance of the Internet search market in the region.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in a blog that Google bars competitors from accessing its YouTube video site for search results and has kept phones running Microsoft’s operating system from working properly with YouTube, Redmond.

"Our filing today focuses on a pattern of actions that Google has taken to entrench its dominance in the markets for online search and search advertising to the detriment of European consumers," Smith wrote.

"Google has engaged in a broadening pattern of walling off access to content and data that competitors need to provide search results to consumers and to attract advertisers."

Smith has written five different ways in which Google ensured its monopoly in the search market, including: preventing Microsoft’s Bing from indexing content on YouTube; blocking Microsoft Smartphones from operating properly with YouTube; controlling access to online copies of out-of-copyright books; and compelling websites to only use Google search boxes on their pages.

Google controls about 95% of the European market, Smith said.

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A spokesman for Google said the search engine company is not surprised by the move.

"We’re not surprised that Microsoft has done this, since one of their subsidiaries was one of the original complainants," Google spokesman Al Verney said.

Google said it would cooperate with the European Commission on the investigation.

"For our part, we continue to discuss the case with the European Commission and we’re happy to explain to anyone how our business works."

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