Microsoft, Google and EU Antitrust - Is Facebook Next?

Rich Tehrani : Communications and Technology Blog - Tehrani.com
Rich Tehrani
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Microsoft, Google and EU Antitrust - Is Facebook Next?

In the recent antitrust allegations being brought against Google by Microsoft, some of the controversy surrounds Microsoft's inability to access YouTube content on its Windows smartphone as well as its Bing search engine. The challenge is being caused by the fact that Google not only has a dominant search position but has implemented technical road blocks to keep competitors from accessing YouTube properly.

Its an interesting argument  and one which can be applied to Facebook as well - if you don't have access to all the social networking data on the site, how can you compete with the company one might ask a regulator in the future.

If EU and other regulators agree and Google has to remove the technical wall blocking YouTube content, we have to wonder what's next. Does every company which becomes large enough have to open up its data to the world as well? These issues will become more and more important over time and Microsoft's ownership stake in Facebook will certainly come into play in this and future cases.

Many of us who have been in the tech space for years realize the irony of Microsoft being on the other side of the anti-competitive issue - but for Google, perhaps the worst company to have to fight is one which has the level of relevant experience Microsoft possesses in this matter.

Google has 90% market-share in Europe and this factor may be one of the most important in the case. If the EU finds the company has done something wrong it could be fined in the many billions of dollars. And if you're Facebook, you should be watching this situation very closely.


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