Microsoft: Still Fighting Google Over Proper Access to YouTube on Windows PhoneJanuary 2, 2013 2 Comments
Microsoft is again putting the pressure on Google to play nice and allow YouTube to properly work on Windows Phone. In a blog post by Dave Heiner, Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Microsoft, he stated the following:
Dave Heiner Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft
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.
We formally raised this concern almost two years ago with the European Commission. (See “Adding our Voice to Concerns about Search in Europe,” Microsoft on the Issues, March 30, 2011.) Subsequently, we’ve discussed this matter with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which also is investigating Google’s misconduct.
As we wrote at the time, these restrictions are just one example of where we believe Google is impeding competition in the marketplace:
“[I]n 2010 and again more recently, Google blocked Microsoft’s new Windows Phones from operating properly with YouTube. Google has enabled its own Android phones to access YouTube so that users can search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones. It’s done the same thing for the iPhones offered by Apple, which doesn’t offer a competing search service.
Unfortunately, Google has refused to allow Microsoft’s new Windows Phones to access this YouTube metadata in the same way that Android phones and iPhones do. As a result, Microsoft’s YouTube “app” on Windows Phones is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile Web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones. Microsoft is ready to release a high quality YouTube app for Windows Phone. We just need permission to access YouTube in the way that other phones already do, permission Google has refused to provide.”
Despite government scrutiny, Google continues to block Microsoft from offering its customers proper access to YouTube. This is an important issue because consumers value YouTube access on their phone: YouTube apps on the Android and Apple platforms were two of the most downloaded mobile applications in 2012, according to recent news reports. Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy. Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers. As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – to have a great YouTube experience. But just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones.
I for one couldn’t care less if an official YouTube app gets released, just that Google stops messing with the 3rd party apps we already use.
Tags: Google, Microsoft, Windows Phone, youtubeNews