Two American mega-firms go head-to-head in Europe: Microsoft has filed a complaint with the European Commission saying that Google is obstructing free competition. The first says the second makes it impossible for non-Google search engines and mobile phone software to work properly, blocks access to content and makes it expensive for potential competitors to advertise online.
Google has said it is not worried about the complaint. In Brussels, a fair competition spokeswoman said the European Commission would be asking for both sides’ versions of the business conflict.
Microsoft is itself the target of anti-competition action in Europe and the US. This is the first time it has filed a competition complaint with regulators.
It is about the Internet search advertising market in Europe. Google controls more than 90 percent of this, well ahead of Microsoft’s rival Bing.
Rulings by Brussels that Microsoft in the past abused its dominant market position cost the company hundreds of millions of euros in fines.