Anti-trust: Google blames Microsoft for turning Washington DC against it

Google-Microsoft-MonopolyIf you thought the Google-Microsoft rift only extended to stolen search terms, you’d be wrong.

Google spokesperson Adam Kovacevich, who deals specifically with anti-trust issues for the company, tells Politico.com that the search giant is taking an unprecedented amount of heat from lawmakers in Washington D.C. — and it’s all Microsoft’s fault.

According to Kovacevich, Microsoft has helped establish an “anti-Google industrial complex” that includes an army of anti-trust lawyers, lobbyists and PR teams, aimed at breaking up Google’s massive operation, which includes everything from its ad service to its uber-popular Android mobile operating system to green energy technology companies.

“We try to create lots of new technologies for consumers, and the companies and industries that we disrupt sometimes try to seek recourse in Washington,” Kovacevich tells Politico in an interview. “In particular, Microsoft and our large competitors have invested a lot in D.C. to stoke scrutiny of us. But our goal is to make sure that we can continue creating cool new things for consumers.”

If you’ll remember, Microsoft itself was the target of similar anti-monopoly activity in Washington during the 1990s. At that time, recently-demoted Google CEO Eric Schmidt was an executive at Sun Microsystems, which helped bring down Microsoft’s empire.

Nowadays, it’s Google who draws the most criticism for its ever-spreading reach. And allies of Microsoft are doing their part to keep up the pressure.

Last fall, Microsoft, along with travel sites TripAdvisor, Expedia, Hotwire, Kayak and Travelocity formed the FairSearch.org lobbying coalition in an attempt to stop Google from its $700 million purchase of flight information software company ITA Software. FairSearch members say the acquisition has hurt their business because Google favors its own results over theirs.

In addition, Microsoft is said to run anti-Google sites like Googleopoly.net and Googlemonitor.com (though their exact role in those sites has not been confirmed by the company).

Of course, calls for Google to be broken up are nothing new. As early as last year, Washington Post columnist Steven Pearlstein wrote that Google was becoming too big, and that Washington should step in to prevent imminent monopolization.

If Google is right that Microsoft is lining up forces against it — and it probably is — then it would certainly add a twist into the whole Bing-stealing-Google’s-search-results debacle, now wouldn’t it?

Product Review

The iPad Pro is the best tablet ever. But don't sell your laptop just yet

Apple has unveiled a big redesign for the iPad Pro, slimming down the bezels, adding Face ID, and the ability to attach and charge the Apple Pencil. All of this comes at a high cost however, as the iPad Pro starts at $799.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.
Computing

Does Qualcomm's latest laptop processor hold up against Intel's Core i5?

Qualcomm has been nipping at Intel's mobile CPU heels for years and now it might finally have overtaken it. To find out whether it's new SoC can hold its own in mid-range computing, we pitted the Snapdragon 8cx vs. Core i5.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Computing

Latest Facebook bug exposed up to 6.8 million users’ private photos

An API bug recently left an impact on Facebook users. Though the issue has since been fixed, some of the apps on the platform had a wrongful access to consumers photos for 12 days between September 13 and September 25. 
Computing

You can now get a Surface Laptop 2 for $800 at the Microsoft Store

Along with deals on other variants, starting configurations of Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 are now going for $800 online at its retail store, cutting $200 from its usual $1,000 starting price. 
Computing

You’ll soon be able to scribble all over PDFs on your Chromebook

Chrome OS users may soon be able to doodle all over their PDF documents with the possible addition of a new feature in Chrome OS' PDF viewer. The annotation feature is expected to allow users to hand draw or write over their documents.
Computing

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Virtual Reality

Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive: Prices drop, but our favorite stays the same

The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are the two big names in the virtual reality arena, but most people can only afford one. Our comparison tells you which is best when you pit the Oculus Rift vs. HTC Vive.
Computing

Microsoft’s Windows 95 throwback was just an ugly sweater giveaway

Microsoft's "softwear" announcement wasn't what we had hoped for. Thursday's announcement was not the new line of wearable tech or SkiFree monster sweater we wished for. But it did deliver the 90s nostalgia we wanted.
Home Theater

Confused about LED vs. LCD TVs? Here's everything you need to know

Our LED vs. LCD TV buying guide explains why these two common types of displays are fundamentally connected, how they differ, what to look for in buying an LED TV, and what's on the horizon for TVs.
Computing

Canada’s winters inspired a startup to warm homes with cryptomining heat waste

Cryptomining may be the key to untold riches and the future of currency, but it’s also an environmental nightmare. Heatmine, thinks it has the answer, but it could mean bolting a mining rig onto every home and business in the country.
Deals

The best MacBook deals for December 2018

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.