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Microsoft sues Google, files antitrust lawsuit

In its complaint against Google, the Redmond-based company said that Google has been indulging in unfair practices that hinder competition.

In what seems to be a turn of tables, Microsoft Corporation has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google at the European Commission, accusing it of curbing competition in internet search.

The news comes across as a bit of a surprise because it is Microsoft which has traditionally been the target of many antitrust lawsuits over the years.

Experts believe that it is perhaps this unpleasant experience that has made Microsoft learn how it can use antitrust actions to its advantage.

Lawsuit quite ironic, say experts
Thomas Vinje, global head of antitrust practice at Clifford Chance, said, "The filing of this complaint reflects one of the greatest ironies of antitrust history. Microsoft has learned from its own unpleasant experiences how to cause maximum disruption for its competitors via competition law."

Microsoft had a strong monopolistic hold in every sector of the IT market where it operated, but it now appears to be eroding.

Microsoft losing share to competitors
Microsoft’s Internet Explorer once enjoyed 90 percent of the browser market share which is now down to just 55 percent due to tough competition from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome.

Though Microsoft’s Windows operating system is still the most widely used OS in the world, Apple has outrun Microsoft in terms of revenue.

Its search engine Bing is also nowhere as popular or influential as Google which is enjoying more than 90 percent of advertising market share in Europe.

In its complaint against Google, the Redmond-based company said that Google has been indulging in unfair practices that hinder competition.

Microsoft had a strong monopolistic hold in every sector of the IT market where it operated, but it now appears to be eroding.

Google has already been targeted by three small companies over the same issue. One of these small companies happens to be under Microsoft.

Al Verney, a spokesman for Google, said that his company is least surprised by Microsoft’s antitrust lawsuit as one of the companies owned by Microsoft has already filed a similar complaint.

Christopher Thomas, a partner at law firm Hogan Lovells, remarked that such an official antitrust lawsuit from a company like Microsoft makes a lot of difference, given the resources and power that Microsoft enjoys.

He hinted that Google will now have quite a difficult time resolving the dispute with the European Commission which could extend over a long period of time.

According to some reports, Google and the European Commission are keen on seeking a settlement but it is unclear how the dispute will proceed.