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Microsoft Complains About Google's Monopoly Abuse 384

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the play-fair-or-i'll-tell-mom dept.
I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Frustrated at the FTC's blessing of the Google/Doubleclick merger, Microsoft is complaining to the EU. Its latest filings detail how the merger would give Google a stranglehold on the advertising industry. While these complaints aren't new, the diagram [PDF] Microsoft created gives you an interesting look at the sort of competition Microsoft fears from Google."
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Microsoft Complains About Google's Monopoly Abuse

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  • by lisany (700361) <slashdot@[ ]doh.com ['the' in gap]> on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:21PM (#21822202)
    If anyone knows about what a monopoly is it's Microsoft.
    • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:23PM (#21822222) Homepage Journal
      Yeah. Check those "Senator Stevens" pipe charts and substitute "file formats" for "ads".
      Sweet, sweet irony.
      • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:20PM (#21822752) Journal

        Yeah. Check those "Senator Stevens" pipe charts and substitute "file formats" for "ads".
        Sweet, sweet irony.
        I'd like to note that personally, although MS has a bad reputation here, I'm inclined to agree with them. And MS' bad reputation here shouldn't justify Google's actions. It's a bit frightening how big in the online ad market Google is becoming. It's also easy to draw conclusions of how cool Microsoft was early on, and how evil they are now. I'm already starting to see it happen with Google... They've already got the private information networking done, and now they're going after dominance and purchasing market via company mergers.
        • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:30PM (#21822832) Homepage Journal

          It's also easy to draw conclusions of how cool Microsoft was early on, and how evil they are now.
          Do you mean, "Using the C-language escape character as a path separator cool"
          or
          "Merging disk partitions and formats in a way that keeps people stupid (c:) cool" ?
          But your point is well taken.
          Can't let the bugbear-as-messenger become a distractor, for all the idea of "shooting the messenger" never seemed more appropriate.
        • by Onan (25162) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:35PM (#21822874)

          Wait Microsoft used to be cool? When was that?

          Was it in 1976, when their only actual product (BASIC) was less well-known for its use than for Bill Gates's whining letter to the community scolding them for piracy [blinkenlights.com]?

          Or was it in 1980, when they managed to dupe IBM into shipping machines with an OS they licensed in beta form [wikipedia.org], ported badly, and quietly acquired the rights to just before IBM made it popular?

          Those events are my first knowledge of Microsoft, so maybe they had a few seconds of coolness somewhere even earlier than that. But if so, it was in a far more fetal stage than Google's current one.

          • by fermion (181285) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:27PM (#21823368) Homepage Journal
            There was also a very brief interval in 1985 between the time that Excel was released, and proved that it could develop and deploy an arguably innovative product, and the time when MS Windows was released and conclusively proved that it could not. But the poster is correct. For the most part every time ones tries to take it seriously as a firm that innovates to helps it user, for instance MS Office 95, MS shows that such occurrences are flukes, for example MS Office 97 onward. The true purpose is to extract residuals, just like any other parasite.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MightyMartian (840721)
          I agree that in demolishing one monopoly we shouldn't simply allow another to rise in its place, but Microsoft on a commercial and ethical level has no right complaining. Google still has a helluva long way to go before it reaches Microsoft's level of unethical business practices.

          Besides, there is a fundamental difference between a web-driven advertising company and a company that has a stranglehold on the actual computers on which the web is normally accessed.
          • by joto (134244) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:50PM (#21823002)

            Google still has a helluva long way to go before it reaches Microsoft's level of unethical business practices
            Sure, but when google acquired doubleclick, they certainly made sure they'd be able to walk that path. And while they've been careful not to trample over smaller companies the way Microsoft does, it's only because they're wiser, and moving slower, so they can achieve world dominance over Internet advertizing without too many people complaining loudly. Google is positioning themselves to be as important as any of the government-monopoly utilities, such as water, sewage, or electricity. What face they will show then is anyones guess, but they are certainly positioning themselves to become a monopoly.

            Besides, there is a fundamental difference between a web-driven advertising company and a company that has a stranglehold on the actual computers on which the web is normally accessed
            Uhm, no. Yesterday it was the computers themselves that was important. Today it's what's on the web that's important. Microsoft controls the operating system and browser. Google controls everything else. This is analogous to the situation between Intel and Microsoft a decade ago, only one level higher in the abstraction hierarchy. Google is todays equivalent of Microsoft 10 years ago.
            • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:54PM (#21823040) Journal
              Except that Google isn't isolating themselves simply to the dominant browser. It works well with Firefox, Safari and others. Google is not doing what Microsoft did with the x86 platform.

              Besides, the web is a wide open platform. If you can do better than Google, you have a much cheaper distribution path than Microsoft ever had. It's not the same kind of business at all.
              • by trianglman (1024223) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:11PM (#21823246) Journal

                Except that Google isn't isolating themselves simply to the dominant browser. It works well with Firefox, Safari and others. Google is not doing what Microsoft did with the x86 platform.

                What does this have to do with Google's take over of online advertising? Google isolating itself would hurt more than anything. MS isolating itself to x86 was a business move that helped it grow because the other competitors to x86 were weakening, not growing stronger as Firefox and Safari are doing now against IE in the web sphere.

                Besides, the web is a wide open platform. If you can do better than Google, you have a much cheaper distribution path than Microsoft ever had. It's not the same kind of business at all.

                You may have a cheaper distribution path, but you have the same difficulty breaking into the market. Do you think that website X would rather go with a large, well established advertiser such as Google or DoubleClick, or with Advertiser Joe Shmo to serve ads on their page? You are likely to get a very small niche along the lines of Linux at best, but you have very little chance of getting more than a couple percent of the internet's ad revenue, even if your product is light years ahead of Google's tools.

                • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:33PM (#21823426) Journal
                  I simply do not agree. Microsoft's business model relied upon its stranglehold of the x86 PC marketplace and its ability to beat OEMs into supplying only its operating system on their machines. During that key period between the late 1980s and early 1990s when all the other competitor platforms were dropping off, they were able to beat the market into submission by unethical and illegal practices.

                  Thus far I know of no one saying that Google is doing anything illegal. Yes, when they go in purchase something like Doubleclick we should be wary, but there is no meaningful analogy between the growth of the two companies. Microsoft was willing to bully and extort its way into dominance, and because the wheels of the market watchdogs are so slow, by the time they first went after Microsoft for those nasty OEM deals, it was too late.
            • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @04:11PM (#21823778) Homepage
              Uhh Google is already *the* ad industry. Nearly every single cent they make comes from ads.

              Plus millions of those ad dollars are going to open source projects and other good causes.

              So far Google hasnt shown any reason to make us doubt their good intentions.
              • by MightyMartian (840721) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @05:27PM (#21824434) Journal
                As I said, I don't think that we should allow a growing behemoth like Google to just wantonly buy companies and technologies without considering the risks to a free marketplace. That is the mistake that was made with Microsoft. Everyone was so happy to see it killing IBM's powerful market position in the mid and late 1980s that they didn't stop to think that they might have to start shooting Microsoft down in its turn. And we shouldn't make the same mistake with Google, that just because it's doing what, up until recently, governments haven't been able to do and start taking some of the wind out of Redmond's sails, that we should just simply wave a happy thank you to Google until the day that we discover that it isn't all that nice a company.

                But, by the same token, the platform that Google's technologies work on is significantly different than the one that Microsoft gained dominance on. The x86-based PC was a bottleneck that Microsoft could use to great effect. Only a limited number of player produce it, only a limited number of players distribute it, and, because the DoJ was several years too late, those restrictive OEM agreements basically gave Microsoft vast control of what went on to the overwhelming majority of personal computers sold throughout the world.

                The web simply isn't like it. There's no way to set up a roadblock in the distribution of a web site. Microsoft tried that with the serious incompatibilities it intentionally put into Internet Explorer, and in the end, guys like Google put up with the development and support pain and worked around various browser idiosyncrasies. Rather than trying to beat Microsoft head on, these guys have played the game by the rules Microsoft created once it had wiped out Netscape as a competitor.

                We're within five years by my guestimate of a serious competitor to the Windows-Office monopoly which is the core of Microsoft's business. Everything else; Zune, XBox etc. are meaningless in what keeps Microsoft ticking. They are scared, and watch for them to start trying to open channels to various governments to try to attack Google legalistically. We're going to see patent bombs being thrown within the next year or two against open source projects that look like they're going to eat into Microsoft. They already have a disaster with Vista, and their business model is dangerously close to compromise.

                It's gonna get ugly.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by ShieldW0lf (601553)
              Google doesn't control shit. You guys talk as though they're the US Government. They've got market dominance for a glorified version of the Yellow Pages. That gives them zero hold on anything.

              Now, they might be able to set themselves up as a barrier to advertisers reaching the public and prop up third parties in that fashion, but really, who is going to stick with a Yellow Pages that screws around with the listings?

              It's not like there aren't a bakers dozen would be search giants waiting in the wings if t
        • by HermMunster (972336) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @03:32PM (#21823418)
          Frankly, I do not think you are being real. No insult intended, but let's be real here. Microsoft is no golden child intent on helping the industry do anything any longer (unless it gets a cut of the pie). Microsoft is a pit, dark and deep. Its intent is to keep others from gaining dominance, anywhere. Microsoft is simply a competitor in a field where they are rather unsuccessful. Microsoft has found a company they can't compete with and now they are trying to get other governing bodies to step in and take their side to help them against a better competitor.

          Google is not a monopoly and has never been one. You become a monopoly when you are ruled one by the court. Microsoft was ruled a monopoly. Apple nor Google are monopolies. Not only that, monopolies are not illegal. It simply means that they must comply with additional laws meant to govern their behavior. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they were convicted of criminal use of their monopoly. They had their day in court.

          We will see the EU essentially just chastise Microsoft for their obviously blatant attempt to get a government to intercede in a market they are not able to compete in successfully. There's really no justification for this and there's no reason anyone should be giving Microsoft any credit. What they are doing is for their own benefit, not the benefit of others. They are doing it to make money for them, not for others. Microsoft, given the chance to be in the same position as Google is with advertising, would be doing the same thing--pushing for even greater market share.

          What does Microsoft think we are? Do they think we are willing to listen to every complaint they have? It's like a criminal robbing a store and then complaining that they just can't make any money any other way. Microsoft has been robbing us blind for years and locking us their software with various technologies thus denying us choice. Only through the efforts of the Open Source community have we been able to even remotely consider something else. For the average Joe there's no choice still, because they don't know its there. Do advertisers have a choice? Can they hit the customer with their ads? Of course they can. They can chose to use Microsoft. They can choose to use Yahoo.

          You're going to tell me that they are complaining to the EU because Google gives them a better choice to reach a larger crowd than Microsoft can provide to them?

          That's just silly and it is in a way another abuse of its dominance in computing to influence by obfuscation. They obfuscate the issue, making it seem more complex than it is, and then push some of the uneducated -- because the computing industry workings are complex due to software being complex, software patents and copyrights.

          Without obfuscation it clearly becomes an issue where Microsoft is being a child here who is saying that "we're loosing, so please change the rules to favor us".

          When we can prove that Google is doing something illegal then we can petition the courts and the EU (and/or others) to correct the wrong. But right now they are not doing anything that has been proven to be wrong, so it is simply one company complaining that they can't compete. Period.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Jugalator (259273)

            Frankly, I do not think you are being real. No insult intended, but let's be real here. Microsoft is no golden child intent on helping the industry do anything any longer (unless it gets a cut of the pie). Microsoft is a pit, dark and deep. Its intent is to keep others from gaining dominance, anywhere.

            Was I saying otherwise? Really, did you see that anywhere?

            Let's talk about Google and stop hiding behind Microsoft's bad motives. The article is about what Google is doing and the bulk of your post is blatantly off-topic.

            As someone else here has said by now which I was essentially saying: Tu quoque.

        • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @04:07PM (#21823732) Homepage
          Uhhh...you may want to take a look around.
          Google is a multi-billion dollar company and guess where every cent of their money comes from?
          Yep. Adwords.

          They arent growing, they have already grown.
          They give free email, free search, free maps, donate millions to open source projects and more all from those little text ads.

          I dont think DoubleClick is a big deal for Google. They would like it but if they dont get it then the world isnt over.
          DoubleClick deals with a completely different segment of the market to Adwords and they want to get in to that side as well.
    • by Knave75 (894961) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:42PM (#21822390)
      If anyone knows about what a monopoly is it's Microsoft.

      I know that we all despise our Monopolizing Micro$oft overlords and such, but that does not invalidate [wikipedia.org] their argument. Imagine that the complaint was coming from a small company with a solid innovation that was getting pulverized by Google, would you at least hear out the small company?

      That said, I agree, it is funny to hear microsoft whining about monopolies. Just try to remember that their past does not, in itself, make them wrong.
      • by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:49PM (#21822458) Journal
        If it was a small company, I would listen. But this is a MONSTER company, with a LONG reputation of doing anything illegal to keep their monopoly. Worse, I expect to see a bunch of small companies coming out of the woodworks who will cry about Google abuse. Then the money will be traced back to MS on the vast majority of them. Lost in all that FUD and fakery from MS probably will be a couple of companies that do feel like they can not take on Google. IOW, the multitude of lies and FUD from MS will serve to obscure what is really going on.

        I also expect to see a number of congressman start gripping about Google.
        • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:26PM (#21822794) Journal

          If it was a small company, I would listen. But this is a MONSTER company, with a LONG reputation of doing anything illegal to keep their monopoly.
          I don't think a company should be ignored depending on their reputation. I personally think Google is on thin ice here and would personally not like to see this deal go through. The only reason I'm starting to belive Google isn't doing evil things in the OEM bundling business is because that monopoly is already occupied. Google has seen their chance in the online ad business and they'll do anything in their power to build a monopoly there. But sure, you just go ahead and point fingers at Microsoft.
          • by WindBourne (631190) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:54PM (#21823044) Journal
            I don't think a company should be ignored depending on their reputation.

            This would be similar to having China pointing their finger at GWB and saying that he is a totalitarian. His admin shows elements of that, but they certainly are not. Likewise, in the courts, if you have been shown to be a liar, you are rarely used as a witness (and certainly none that you want to have credibility). MS is the WRONG company to be speaking out about this. What does Yahoo have to say about this? And a really great example is that back in 97 (actually, even before then), we were griping on the net that AltaVista had a monopoly on search. Everybody was using it. Where are they today?

            Look, Google does not have a monopoly. While they certainly appear to be rocketing towards it, they are not likely to obtain it. Why? Because South Korea, china, and Russia are all backing their own search engines. Even EU is trying to build one. So, will Google obtain it? Not likely. But lets assume that they do. Is it illegal? Nope. Not one iota. What is illegal, is the abuse of that position. MS started from the git-go, abusing everything. In fact, so did IBM and ATT once they got their monopoly. But so far, Google shows NO signs of abuse. In fact, far from it. They seem to want to work with just about everybody, and expand the market rather than control it. About the ONLY company who is likely to oppose this IS MS. This combined with Linux appears to be slowly killing MS's monopoly. That is WHY MS is screaming to EU.

        • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:48PM (#21822978) Journal
          Then the money will be traced back to MS

          SCO Search?
      • by Kamokazi (1080091)
        In tried and true /. tradation: "You must be new here." Microsoft=Hell Bill Gates=Devil Steve Balmer=??; Google=Heaven Tux=Jesus CmdrTaco=God. Got that?
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        The trouble is there's no monopoly here. Google is one among hundreds of search engines. Microsoft has its own, it was there first. Why do they whine about "monopoly" when they had every chance to monopolize search on their own? All they would have had to do was to deliver relevant links in a fast page, as opposed to delivering irrelevent links in a bloated, takes forever to load page.

        And doubleclick is one of thousands of ad agencies. No monopoly there either. And if you don't have a monopoly you can't use
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by yukk (638002)
        I'd listen to them if, on page 3 of their document, competing pipes didn't suddenly become demphasised by taking on spindly shapes and MSN/Yahoo pipes didn't grey out and hide behind big red boxes.
        If all those competing pipes were shown properly, everyone would see that competition still holds over 1/3 of the market in both areas mapped out instead of it appearing that a monster has taken over the advertising world.
        You don't get to be a real monopoly like Microsoft without twisting the "truth", spinning FUD
    • by arivanov (12034) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:50PM (#21822472) Homepage
      Did the kettle just call the pot black?
  • by FredFredrickson (1177871) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:26PM (#21822244) Homepage Journal
    How is teaming with an online marketing company giving Google quite the stronghold that MS actually has? I mean- it's not like this means Google owns the billboards and television commercials.
  • Confidential (Score:5, Interesting)

    by orclevegam (940336) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:26PM (#21822248) Journal
    Anyone else notice the little confidential text in the corner of all the slides in the linked PDF?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Anyone else notice it was created on Mac OS x; "Mac OS X 10.4.11 Quartz PDFContext"
    • by Jugalator (259273) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:17PM (#21822724) Journal
      Yeah, when I noticed that, I promptly closed the PDF after reading the first three pages. ;-)
    • The pdf was produced on a Mac:

      ~$ pdfinfo bitsonlinead.prf.pdf
      Title: doc 3.ppt
      Author: Leah Hitchings
      Creator: PowerPoint
      Producer: Mac OS X 10.4.11 Quartz PDFContext
      ...
      probably because MS sent the document in their proprietary format and the NY Times had to convert it - using a Mac - to a more readable form.
  • I noticed that MS left off their "share", Or is it so minuscule as to not show?
  • by tacokill (531275) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:37PM (#21822336)
    Those who can, do. Those who can't....litigate.

    It's one of the oldest strategies out there. If your competitor is beating you with their offerings, then you find a nice friend (the govt) to help make it more difficult for them. Hopefully, the govt will not take up this cause as M$ is already a convicted monopolist, themselves.

    From Ayn Rand's Reardon character to the latest round in the ongoing SCO saga, the courts have ALWAYS been used by lesser competitors to slow down/stop/hassel the competition.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by nomadic (141991)
      From Ayn Rand's Reardon character to the latest round in the ongoing SCO saga, the courts have ALWAYS been used by lesser competitors to slow down/stop/hassel the competition.

      Ummm...Ayn Rand wrote fiction, you know. You can't judge the court system by non-real happenings in it.
      • Yea, I know..... (Score:3, Interesting)

        by tacokill (531275)
        Yes, but the premise I was making made the example relevant. Of course I know Rand's character was fictional but the character was there to demonstrate the relationship between business and the state.

        Don't you remember WHY Reardon was in the courts in the first place? Because his competitors complained that his product was better than theirs.

        While fictional, it is very appropriate.
  • Ok, Microsoft - if you're worried about all these destructive monopolies then I propose you arrange a swap with Google.

    Google will give up on their advertising mergers if you release a fully documented API for Windows. One hundred percent, nothing hidden. You know, what you were ordered to do (and *still* haven't done) by the EU because of your monopoly desktop position. Detail everything. File formats, network protocols - the works. Make it something that the Wine guys could grab and implement.

    No?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      It cant do it. Because it is impossible to really document everything in WinXP. The code is the document. It is cobbled together and grew organically for some 20 years of spaghetti development. So they just cant do it, even if they wanted to.
      • Bologna. (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Weaselmancer (533834)

        Of course it can be done. Wine is about 90% functional and they got all that with simple observation and no access to the code whatsoever. Same goes for the Samba crew.

        If you had the code in front of you, it would become simple.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by orclevegam (940336)
          You forgot that the Wine and Samba guys had good developers and somewhat limited goals, where as MS has corporate slaves^Wdevelopers (for the record I'm a corporate developer, but not a MS one) and has always attempted to maintain backwards compatibility (which means implementing not only the old API, but all the old bugs as well). From the stories I've heard this is also a side-effect of the way teams are broken out at MS. Where as in the OSS world the goal is on co-operation in large corporations like MS
  • by polar red (215081) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:41PM (#21822384)
    i don't like MS, but i can agree with MS, their story certainly contains grains of truth, but i think MS has other things it should worry about than the AD-market when talking about google. The fact is, google moves the "desktop" away from the windows-platform, and that should worry MS a lot more than the Advertising market, because that is the hart of the MS-empire.
    • Yeah, but the truth is that MS has completely ignored the "software as an internet service" idea and instead has focused on their desktop OS and office suite products, much to their own detriment. So, rather than invest in R&D to get their own offering up and out to the masses, they'd rather use any tool they can to slow Google's adoption including making idiotic claims over Google's perceived advertising monopoly. I look at it as one more bullet to the foot.
  • I'm not aware that Microsoft is significantly suffering. Yeah they may want to get into the Internet advertising business, and yeah they may be an after-ran, but unless Microsoft feels entitled to own the whole world (yes, they might) I don't know how they can make their case here. They've had several years to build their own advertising model, and any failures are strictly their own. I don't recall them being worried about other computer operating system vendors while they were busy squeezing them all o
  • It's a little sad to see MS whining like this. Google actually could be a real monopoly (as opposed to MS, who cannot be due to free alternatives) because they could conceivably get to a point where someone looking to advertise on the Internet must go through Google. Microsoft, on the other hand, will never be a single point of supply for OS's. Ergo, MS cannot be a monopoly.

    Regardless, Google isn't a monopoly and won't be one anytime soon so MS should shut up and quit whining like their own competitors

    • by penix1 (722987)

      It's a little sad to see MS whining like this. Google actually could be a real monopoly (as opposed to MS, who cannot be due to free alternatives) because they could conceivably get to a point where someone looking to advertise on the Internet must go through Google. Microsoft, on the other hand, will never be a single point of supply for OS's. Ergo, MS cannot be a monopoly.

      Regardless, Google isn't a monopoly and won't be one anytime soon so MS should shut up and quit whining like their own competitors whin

    • Re:Whining. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Marcion (876801) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @05:26PM (#21824428) Homepage Journal
      The definition of a monopoly is not having 100% of the market. It is having enough (e.g. 25%) to distort the market and unfairly control your supplies or customers, e.g. to make prices rather than to take them, to dictate your own proprietary standards rather than open standards and so on.
  • "Intergrated"? Didn't they even bother to run this through a spelling checker? Talk about professional...
  • Most of the posts thus far seem to note that MS "should know about monopolies". But, does the fact that MS is the one filing the complaint here make it any less true?

    Really, folks. Lets discuss the merits of the argument.

    Monopolies should be regulated before their damage is done. We arrived too late on the scene to stop the damage Microsoft had done to the marketplace. Perhaps we should start thinking ahead a little.
    • Re:Any less true? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Repossessed (1117929) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:05PM (#21822604)
      Google is a monopo;y true (in that they have a majority of the online ads market). I fail to see what Google has done to damage competition though, aside from having name recognition/good products.
      • Re:Any less true? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Repossessed (1117929) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:34PM (#21822866)

        (that is, 78% of all ads served to the Web pages of publishers who do not have proprietary ad-serving toolstoday, only MSN and Yahoo! have such tools

        The claim the MSN and Yahoo are the only 2 companies with their own advertising tech is laughable. To start with, *anybody* can create a system of barter over email and Paypal. And I visit websites whose owners actively make a living that way. As far as private Doubleclick style software goes, the Keencorp pages seem to be littered with ads served off of something called 'gavsad', which seems a good example of 'publishers with proprietary ad-serving tools' to me.

        The complaints also seem to ignore the rich plethora of small, hardly heard of ad networks/tools that various websites use. (Indieclick and Project Wonderful both come to mind). These ad companies seem to manage to exist without any real threat from monopolies.

        Internet advertising seems to be a bad place to hope to squeeze the life out of all the competition simply by being bigger. It's not like traditional businesses. Overhead costs are largely linear, there are no suppliers to fight with simply because the small guy is beneath their notice. And refusing to use one product will never prevent you from using a different one.

        Google also fails to engage in ani anti competitive tactics. Nobody is ever asked to sign contracts that prevent them from using a Google competitor as well (Something Microsoft continues in to this day). Nobody is refused search results or advertisement because they're competitors. (Given the dominance of Windows Live junk ads out there, Microsoft knows this damned well). And frankly, simply because Google *might* commit a crime at some point in the future, is no reason for them to be punished now.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by pete.com (741064)
      There is nothing illegal about being a monopoly. It is when the monopoly uses its market size to crush competition, like MS did with Netscape for instance, that it becomes illegal. By giving away a web browser for free they made it so Netscape couldn't compete in the open market and survive financially.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by UnknowingFool (672806)

      I don't see how this deal makes Google a monopoly. This deal gives Google the largest market share and makes it the biggest player on the block. One of the definitions of monopoly is that no other close substitutes exist. As far as I know, companies can still go to MS and Yahoo if they wanted.

      Even if it were a monopoly, that does not make it illegal. People seem to attach a stigma to the word "monopoly" when in itself a monopoly is not per se illegal. What got Microsoft in trouble was how it obtained

  • [sarcasm]Tell me it isn't so! Microsoft worked so hard to get their monopoly. We can't let other companies threaten everything they have accomplished.[/sarcasm]
  • by calebt3 (1098475) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:51PM (#21822490)
    ...Microsoft recently acquired the copyright on monopolies and is demanding royalty payments.
  • by mlwmohawk (801821) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:55PM (#21822516)
    Microsoft should be a little more careful in asking the FTC to enforce monopoly laws. I mean, come on now! If *anyone* should be broken apart it is Microsoft. Microsoft currently enjoys a U.S. "justice" department that is so pro-business that it refuses to enforce the laws that stand and has dropped action in progress.

    If we should get a "Justice" department in the U.S. again, one which will investigate wrong doings by corporations and government, including the executive branch, Microsoft is toast.

    Is Microsoft so stupid as to not know that poking a sleeping dragon is not in one's own best interest? Or are they so sure that Google is going to cut off their air supply they are willing to risk it?

    The P.C. is a dinosaur, think of this post. I'm running Firefox on Linux. If *most* software becomes web based it makes no difference who's using what. Furthermore, someone like Google could take something like the OLPC device give it away with a subscription to Google's web applications.

    Between OLPC, web ads, web 2.0 rich applications, the E.U. investigation prompted by Opera, Microsoft must see its Office and OS monopoly in deep trouble. Their "back-office" strategy is competitive but not monopolistic enough to support the corporation once the OS and office products no longer have ~90% of the users.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @01:56PM (#21822526)
    Microsoft Complains About Google's Monopoly Abuse

    Of course, the monopoly being abused here is Microsoft.
  • Its Obvious... (Score:2, Informative)

    by LowlyWorm (966676)
    There is an "E" in Google.
  • by gilesjuk (604902) <giles,jones&zen,co,uk> on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:01PM (#21822568)
    So instead of complaining why don't they sort out their own tarnished image and produce a good alternative?
  • How sad (Score:3, Funny)

    by HikingStick (878216) <z01riemer@noSPAM.hotmail.com> on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:07PM (#21822624)
    I big, bad company like Google picking on a itsy-bitsy company like Microsoft. Will there never be justice in this world?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by canuck57 (662392)

      I big, bad company like Google picking on a itsy-bitsy company like Microsoft. Will there never be justice in this world?

      If ./ readers haven't noticed, Googles gross revenue is getting mightily close to M$FT. In fact, if you extrapolate the growth, 2008 will likely be the year Google surpasses M$FT in gross revenue.

      M$FT also knows Google could fire a missile right at M$FT that would be hard to take. Imagine if Google put out GooLinux, one click download and install with Open Office.....right over XP or

  • by Ruke (857276)
    Anyone else notice that Microsoft chose to represent internet advertising as a series of tubes? Apparently, this market isn't something you can just dump something on...
  • Microsoft certainly has a lot of expertise in foreclosing competition by restricting access to API's (as they claim Google would be in position to do). Funny they also didn't mention restricting access to data formats. Or does that cut too close to home for them.
  • The Other Fear (Score:3, Insightful)

    by some old guy (674482) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:23PM (#21822768)
    My problem with the merger is that since Doubleclick is one of the most obnoxious ad-pushers and a notoriously unscrupulous and insecure data miner, I'm afraid I'll have to look elsewhere for my search needs and delete all google cookies at once.
  • by euxneks (516538) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:23PM (#21822770)
    Not to be a detractor, as I hate MS as much as every other sane person does, but monopolies in any form in my opinion are BAD. Just because it's Microsoft that has a competing product and is whining doesn't mean that there might be a genuine problem with the Google/Doubleclick merger or whatever it is. I don't know anything about this whole affair, but it's not right to just offhandedly dismiss the claims because Microsoft is making them.
  • Does the GOogle/DoubleClick merger keep any company from entering the market the same way, oh, MS did in the OS market in the 90's... wait, I mean, even now? The way I understand it, no, but I'm not an economics major, so go figure.
  • by Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @02:29PM (#21822810)
    How is this different from the radio stations asking the government to look into the contracts that the members of the RIAA have with their recording artists? As I recall, we were all pretty happy about that.


  • The pot just called the kettle black.....
  • um ... and why is Microsoft worried about selling advertising? Aren't they are software company that buys advertising? Shouldn't they, like, be more concerned about making an operating system that works? Or, like, an office suite that doesn't crash my PC?

    Why am I asking you?
  • by AtariDatacenter (31657) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @04:07PM (#21823736)
    60% of you will underestimate this.
    20% of you will misunderstand this.
    10% of you might believe it.
    10% of you will totally get this.

    The next step in 'Internet advertising' doesn't exist yet, and doesn't directly center around the web browser and web pages. There is a real integration of three technologies that is coming around the corner, and Google is far ahead of the game than any other player. In fact, most of the other players don't even know the game exists.

    What is this magic combo?
    Cellular Data [real time, anyplace, data transport to a computing device] +
    Internet [not web pages, but providers of location based services (Google)] +
    GPS [one of the new key data fields that everything will hinge upon]

    "But we already have those things today!" "This is nothing new!" "My phone currently does all three!"

    Yes. Those are three discrete services that your phone may have. But are they INTEGRATED?

    New world example:

    You're hungry. You want a place to eat. You go to your [smart device]. It could be a cell phone. It could be a Nokia N800 like device. Yes, it could be built into your car like your existing GPS mapping device. It already knows where you are (and shows your position on the default screen). You query (not through a web browser, but an integrated interface) for a nearby fast food restaurant. With me so far? You didn't go to a web page Yahoo! Local or Google Maps. Your map application was built into the device.

    Quite a number of nearby locations pop up on your map. But there are a few bolded map selections. Arby's has free desert with any meal purchase. Bill & Ruth's sub shop has a discount of $1 towards any sandwich. And some small pizza place you never heard of has a 2-for-1 special. And then there are quite a number of other choices.

    How did those bolded deals get there? Some large company built up the infrastructure required to run a service where any advertiser (major corporation or little mom-and-pop shops) could put in advertisements at a local level. They've got the transaction engine necessary to take and bill for advertisements. (That would be an existing online advertising company.) They've got the scale to do this on a nationwide (or even worldwide) basis. They've got a yellow pages database. They've got a way to deliver this to consumers.

    Who has something like this today? The only things close that I've found are Yahoo! Local [yahoo.com], and our friend Google.

    Google doesn't have all the pieces yet. But they're assembling them. Adsense is going to start allowing location based advertising. (I wish I kept my reference for that.) They're working on an integrated delivery platform to get that to you (Gphone). They practically have all the pieces in place, and they're working towards the goal of making this happen.

    Now, DoubleClick is a major online advertising company. They could be competition to Google in this future world. But, if Google absorbs DoubleClick before the market even exists, then they can avoid the whole monopoly issue. So Google isn't just playing for the here and now, but they're playing for the future in advertising. Nobody else (such as local telephone companies which maintain their own yellow pages) will be in a position to compete (because they lack everything needed to gather the ads nationwide, and they lack everything needed to present the ads, except for some ownership of the mobile devices). Which... of course... Google managed to take away their walled garden when it comes to the mobile devices allowed on the next generation wireless networks.

    And Google totally has this figured out. Hello? Google Maps? Want to know what the business looks like that you're heading for? Google street view. Google is totally lining all of its ducks in a row to corner this new market.

    DoubleClick
  • by NullProg (70833) on Wednesday December 26, 2007 @10:28PM (#21826464) Homepage Journal
    a competitive product?

    1) Since when has google used a AARD code in a Operating system to instill FUD for a user to purchase an alternate OS? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AARD_code [wikipedia.org]
    2) Since when has google informed a user to remove a competitors program upon installation/upgrade of a new one? http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2005/12/20/505887.aspx [msdn.com]
    3) Since when has google forced install GGA (Google Genuine Advantage) software to frisk and accuse a user of being a thief when their not? http://blogs.msdn.com/wga/archive/2007/08/27/update-on-validation-issues.aspx [msdn.com]
    4) Correct me if I'm wrong, but google has't put yahoo, msn, ask jeeves out of business by bundling their service with computer manufacturers. Computer makers can bundle all or none except when they bundle Windows (Windows Live).

    Microsoft stopped being a software company back in 1991. They are now a an exclusive Windows only monopoly protection company. Just like the contract they signed with (CBS), they are old and busted (MTV).

    Silverlight is a copy of flash (but won't work on my cell phone). .Net is a copy of Java (but doesn't have a native compiler and doesn't work outside of a WinCE phone). Live office is joke compared to Google. My tweens (and their friends) want their computers/cell phones/ipods just to work regardless of the computer. Microsoft doesn't get this.

    Microsoft assumed that they would steal away Ad dollars (UK Pounds, French EU etc) from google by being Microsoft. They don't understand yet that the Microsoft brand name is tainted and means squat for most of the world. Their not Coco-Cola for sure. They have brand recognition for being un-secure, BSOD, RROD (xbox360), and greedy.

    In the USA a Microsoft ex-attorney is allowed to be head of the Microsoft DOJ oversight commission (Government). Hopefully the EU wont have a Microsoft employee overseeing their Microsoft anti-trust suit (Anyone can be bought by a company with ill-gotten $40 billion in the bank.

    Microsoft is not evil. Just greedy. They forgot about making computer software thats simple and easy (Apple). Somehow they forgot that they were computer programmers, not Windows programmers.

    Enjoy,

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