At least there’s an upside to having the European Union in on speed dial. Microsoft this week issued a formal complaint against Google, citing antitrust concerns over Google’s seemingly unflappable control over Internet search. The EU launched the investigation into Google’s business practices last year, following complaints issued by three companies. A formal complaint from Microsoft may well cause the intensify the investigation.
Microsoft SVP Brad Smith outlined the complaint on his blog last night. “We’ve […] decided to join a large and growing number of companies registering their concerns about the European search market. By the European Commission’s own reckoning, Google has about 95 percent of the search market in Europe.”
Smith acknowledged that his own company’s Bing engine is “the only viable competitor to Google,” having nabbed around a quarter of US, when Bing-powered Yahoo is factored in.
Google told the Financial Times that it’s “not surprised” that Microsoft lodge the complaint. “For our part, we continue to discuss the case with the European Commission,” the company added, “and we’re happy to explain to anyone how our business works.