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Microsoft sues Google for ‘search biasing’

In an ironic twist of fate, dominant software maker Microsoft is accusing Internet giant Google of biasing search results on its Internet search engine in the European Union. Microsoft has been charged in the past in Europe for allegedly using its large size to stifle competition. This time, it’s the turn of the Redmond, Washington-based tech firm to accuse a competitor of monopolistic practices. Microsoft is struggling to gain market share in Europe despite incorporating tools from the formerly Norwegian headquartered FAST into its Bing search engine, and putting in at least $1 billion of both development and advertising investment. Mike Davis, an analyst for research firm Ovum, said it is not far-fetched that Google has been “skewing" its search results, given that 97 percent of its income is derived from Internet advertising. “And of course this raises the questions ‘don’t you do it too?’ and ‘have you been copying your rival’s search results?’" commented Davis, referring to Google’s accusation that Microsoft’s Bing search engine merely replicated’s search results. The Ovum analyst said that Internet search cannot be “agnostic and unbiased" since those who provide Internet search engines derive their revenues from the advertisers. “The total value of Internet advertising is huge, and this is a territory that both Google and Microsoft need to dominate. Irrespective of the eventual EC (European Commission) adjudication, this war will continue for a long time yet," Davis said. —