Microsoft Drags YouTube Back Into Google Antitrust FightBy: Zach Walton - January 2, 2013
2012 taught me one thing – Microsoft really hates Google, especially when it comes to search. Microsoft’s Bing service consistently called out Google on what it perceived as anti-competitive actions with the latest being its “Scroogled” campaign. Now Microsoft has a new bone to pick with the search giant.
In a blog post by Dave Heiner, Microsoft’s Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, he recounts all of the antitrust probes that Google is currently involved in. He seems particularly gleeful about Google reaching a settlement in Europe, but is disappointed by the FTC’s response thus far. Despite all of that, he says that Google is still holding out on them when it comes to YouTube on Windows Phone.
Heiner says that Microsoft raised concern about YouTube not being up to snuff on Windows Phone almost two years ago, but no significant progress has yet been made. The core argument here is that Google has not built a YouTube app that’s comparable to the apps offered on Android and iOS for Windows Phone devices. He also says that Microsoft would be willing to build its own YouTube app for Windows Phone if Google would only allow them to have access to its metadata, but Google hasn’t allowed the company to do so.
This has been going on for well over a year according to Heiner, but he reveals that Microsoft has stumbled upon a new revelation in its talks with “YouTube personnel.” He says that the folks at YouTube want to build a native app for Windows Phone, but “senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.”
In conclusion, Heiner says that Google’s actions causes harm to consumers far and wide:
Google often says that the antitrust offenses with which it has been charged cause no harm to consumers. Google is wrong about that. In this instance, for example, Google’s refusal deprives consumers who use competing platforms of a comparable experience in accessing content that is generally available on the Web, almost all of which is created by users rather than by Google itself. And it’s inconsistent, to say the least, with Google’s public insistence that other competing services, such as Facebook, should offer Google complete access to their content so they can index and include it on their search site.
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.
As for Google, the company told All Things D that “it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows phones.” The company says that its “HTML5-based mobile website” allows users to access all the features of YouTube that others on Android and iOS access as well.
It did not, however, offer a response to Microsoft’s accusation that it’s intentionally blocking the Redmond-based company from building its own YouTube app. We’ve reached out to Google for comment on this specific accusation, and will update if/when we hear back.