In what could be a devastating revelation, The Telegraph has written a post which has dirty Microsoft games written all over it. According to the research done by the paper, Microsoft has been the chief funding source for a Brussels-based "Initiative for a Competitive Online Marketplace", or ICOMP which has been lobbying for an antitrust investigation against Google.
Recently, the European Union has started an investigation against Google where they are looking into claims that Google is pushing their own products in search engine results and are not giving preference to other search engines. First of all, that claim is totally absurd, no search engine would point to another search engine in their results, unless the search is very specific and calls for it. Danny Sullivan has written a good post revealing the absurdity of this investigation, you might want to read it to get a better insight.
Coming back to ICOMP, the organization came into picture when Google purchased DoubleClick a few years ago. Microsoft had vehemently opposed the acquisition and had a public duel over it, stating that it would create unfair competition. However, the EU ratified the deal and Google went through with the purchase for $3.1 billion. However, ICOMP has kept coming back at Google and have been filing investigation requests galore.
According to The Telegraph, Microsoft is ICOMP’s sole trustee and underwrites its funding. The company also has a say in appointing directors to ICOMP. Having so much clout in an organization whose sole job is going after Google doesn’t bode well for Microsoft.
A courtesy look at the blog of the organization shows that they are solely there to go after Google and nothing else. Google is the search engine market leader in several countries including the US of A. Bing, the Microsoft search engine has been able to gain over 10% of market share thanks to their collaboration with Yahoo, however, it looks like Microsoft is not just happy with the 10% share and are playing a proxy war to ensure that investigators step in and rein in Google.
This is not just shameful, but also demeaning way of using money to launch investigations against competitors. Google is not new to all these investigations and have been constantly dealing with it. Back in February 2010, Google had also written about how regulators should keep out of search engine’s way, which was also related to a EU investigation, which was most likely than not forced on by ICOMP.
Nevertheless, it looks like Microsoft has been at the center of all their decisions in filing investigation claims against Google in particular. So does this call for an investigation now?