How’s this for the pot calling the kettle black? Microsoft has made an official complaint to the European Commission, claiming that Google is behaving in an anti-competitive way when it comes to search. Namely, its acquisition of YouTube in 2006 meant that competing search engines were restricted from “properly accessing it for their search results.”
They’re also claiming that Windows Mobile phones were blocked from being able to use YouTube properly. Brad Smith, the senior vice president and general counsel of Microsoft, wrote on the TechNet blog:
Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, 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.At least Microsoft seems aware of the irony of lodging an antitrust complaint, with Smith acknowledging that “there of course will be some who will point out the irony in today’s filing. Having spent more than a decade wearing the shoe on the other foot with the European Commission, the filing of a formal antitrust complaint is not something we take lightly.”
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.