Microsoft is once again citing antitrust concerns after Google executives allegedly blocked a fully featured YouTube app for Windows Phone.
The Redmond, Wash.-based company learned just last month from YouTube senior executives that Google has apparently instructed them to not allow a “first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones,” according to Microsoft Vice President and Deputy General Counsel Dave Heiner via a blog post:
You might think that Google would be on its best behavior given it’s under the bright lights of regulatory scrutiny on two continents, particularly as it seeks to assure antitrust enforcers in the U.S. and Europe that it can be trusted on the basis of non-binding assurances that it will not abuse its market position further.
However, as we enter 2013, that is not the case. Here’s just one example: We continue to be dogged by an issue we had hoped would be resolved by now: Google continues to prevent Microsoft from offering consumers a fully featured YouTube app for the Windows Phone.
Microsoft originally expressed its antitrust concerns in March 2011 with the European Commission, and it later discussed them with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. Despite investigations from both regulatory bodies, Heiner claimed Google “continues to block Microsoft from offering its customers proper access to YouTube.”
He further said it is an “important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone,” as the YouTube apps on Google Play and the App Store platforms were two of the most popular and downloaded apps in 2012.
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“Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy,” Heiner added. “Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers.”
Heiner described antitrust offenses as causing harm to consumers, and, in this instance, he noted Google’s blockage of a YouTube app essentially deprives consumers of competing platforms to access content that is readily available on the Web and created by users and not by Google itself.
In case you were wondering, Windows users could access YouTube content via the traditional mobile web browser. Google suggested this as an alternative via a statement to AllThingsD:
Contrary to Microsoft’s claims, it’s easy for consumers to view YouTube videos on Windows phones. Windows phone users can access all the features of YouTube through our HTML5-based mobile website, including viewing high-quality video streams, finding favorite videos, seeing video ratings, and searching for video categories. In fact, we’ve worked with Microsoft for several years to help build a great YouTube experience on Windows phones.
However, Heiner said it’s “inconsistent, to say the least, with Google’s public insistence that other competing services, such as Facebook, should offer Google complete access to their content so they can index and include it on their search site,” while he also reiterated that competitors are getting “scroogled” on a daily basis from this type of misconduct.
Along with touting antitrust offenses, Microsoft loves to launch ad campaigns against its No. 1 enemy. It embarked on yet another against Google for Christmastime, called “Don’t Get Scroogled,” that places the Google Shopping experience under a microscope. Fore more information on Microsoft’s fierce Scroogled campaign, check out 9to5Google’s breakdown.
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