Just After EU Goes After Google For Antitrust, Microsoft Agrees To Drop All Antitrust Complaints About Google

from the interesting... dept

Back in 2011, Microsoft officially filed an antitrust complaint against Google in the EU. At the time, we noted how silly this was, given that the company itself had spent years battling EU antitrust regulations. It almost felt like a "well, if we had to go through that hellish process, let's put it on Google too..." kind of thing. Within less than a year, Google filed its own antitrust complaint back against Microsoft. As we noted at the time, both claims seemed kind of ridiculous and overblown -- and it bothered us greatly that these companies were resorting to stupid political games, rather than just competing in the market.

So, now, just days after the EU officially took that ball and ran with it, Microsoft and Google have announced that they've buried the hatchet and agreed to drop all antitrust complaints against each other around the globe. They insist this has nothing to do with the EU's move earlier this week. In fact, the writing has been on the wall for some time here. The two companies had ended the patent battle last fall, with everyone dropping all complaints and lawsuits. And, just a couple of months ago there were reports that Microsoft was cutting back on supporting the very coalitions that it had put together and funded: ICOMP and FairSearch.

It had always been obvious and well-known that both groups were Microsoft front groups, and now it's official... and over. According to Re/code:
“Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities,” a Microsoft representative said in a statement to Re/code. “We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers.”

Google, meanwhile, offered up a similar statement, affirming that it too will withdraw any regulatory complaints it has made. “Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings.”
Of course they could have, and should have, done that five years ago, rather than going through this wasteful process for all involved. The Re/code report suggests a big reason for the shift is the new leadership atop both Google and Microsoft, leading to less animosity and a willingness to work together in some areas and compete directly in the market. It was disappointing that the two ever bothered to focus on trying to dump bureaucratic nightmares on each other in the first place, so it's good that that part is over. However, the antitrust investigations and potential outcomes won't stop just because the companies have stopped supporting them. Once those launched, they'll keep on going.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Apr 2016 @ 4:27pm

    Mission Accomplished.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jennifer, 23 Apr 2016 @ 1:18am

    ..sad to see the blog management here deleting/censoring comments that are polite, on topic, reasonable, and brief.
    Difficult to know what the alleged "offense" is... when comments are summarily deleted without explanation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Situs Android (profile), 23 Apr 2016 @ 1:35am

    Nice

    I like your shared :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jaundice Abounds, 23 Apr 2016 @ 5:39am

    Quite Obvious - Nepotism

    It is glaringly obvious that Microsoft and on many levels, Alphabet (Google's now-parent company) are interwoven at various levels now. It is not in your interest, as Microsoft, to throw rocks at your 'close peer', especially when helping get them convicted of a crime will most-likely set a benchmark for just how guilty you are too. Welcome to the new realm of 'unmanageable trusts' of the 21st century.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Coyne Tibbets (profile), 24 Apr 2016 @ 1:11am

      Re: Quite Obvious - Nepotism - No, Delegation

      What's quite obvious is that, now that Microsoft has successfully delegated the lawsuits to the government, it no longer needs to sue itself and can save all that money.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lisboeta, 24 Apr 2016 @ 7:02am

    What happens next?

    Microsoft, Google, et al. get together to lobby furiously against whatever hair-brained ruling the EU comes up with....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 25 Apr 2016 @ 5:08am

    Of course they could have, and should have, done that five years ago...
    Five years ago, Ballmer was still CEO.

    Look what's happened to Microsoft since he left.

    It's not a coincidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.