Microsoft knows the pains of anti-trust lawsuits, million dollar fines, and the expensive nature of dividing up a business so it doesn’t look like a monopoly.
So it’s no shock that one of the biggest weapons in Microsoft’s war chest is a handful of small companies that can claim Google services have stymied their opportunities to succeed.
According to this “Google treads carefully in European antitrust case” (Link removed – no longer available) article posted yesterday in Canada.com, companies with direct links to Microsoft are suing because they cannot compete in EU markets without ranking well on Google:
Google’s competition includes Microsoft but is mostly small, specialist Internet services which argue the Silicon Valley giant is ensuring their names come low or don’t even figure in searches. In Europe, 80 per cent of Web searches are run on Google, according to the most recent figures by comScore, compared with 67 per cent in the United States. Its opponents say that means Google, which makes its money by advertising sales, can make or break a business by its ranking.
… followed by:
Moreover, Google says the small companies claiming to be its victims are linked to Microsoft. The third original complainant, Ciao.de, is a German travel search site owned by Microsoft. Several are also members of I-comp, whose most prominent member is Microsoft, and which produces position papers on subjects such as web market concentration. I-comp lawyer Wood acknowledges the organization is not independent, but says “our palette is much broader than Microsoft’s.”
The scary truth is that if actions like this are successful we would have to reorganize or dismantle all companies like Google that offer free services which prevent smaller companies from selling the same services.
Typically such a thing would never happen here in North America, since due diligence requires proof of consumer harm, not just harm to the competition.
No matter how you look at it, Google is the opposite of consumer harm, but in the EU courts this may not matter.
Once Google loses in EU courts it will be ‘game-on’ for all other countries to dog-pile on the remains of Google, allowing greed to kill off one of the best things that’s ever happened to us.
Looking at history of humanity and greed vs. virtue, we should have seen this coming?
In my opinion it is as if Microsoft woke up one morning, looked into their magical mirror to reflect on how beautiful they are, and came to realize that some poison apples need to be handed out post-haste.
Speaking of humanity vs. greed, I MUST comment on this whole FunnyJunk vs. Oatmeal ‘fiasco’.
Either this is some brilliant promotional scheme or the owners of FunnyJunk painted a bullseye on their own foot. I am really not sure which one, but man is it sad.
Give it a read if you really want to be shocked at how low a business can stoop to make a profit from artists and the community.
It’s also refreshing to see the Oatmeal prove they could shut down TFJ, but instead they used the $20,000 they raised in 64 minutes to fund cancer research and support the World Wildlife Federation.