Microsoft and Google have a long history of disputes, many of which concluded with complaints submitted to regulators in the United States and the European Union. But today, the two tech giants signed a deal that would have both of them dropping complaints against each other and working together on settling their disputes without the need for antitrust watchdogs, fines and regulations that would only affect their businesses.
The two companies said in comments offered to Recode that Google and Microsoft plan to focus on competing against each other by making their products better, and not on complaining to regulators about issues they discover with each other’s businesses.
“Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings,” a Google spokesperson said today. “Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities. We will continue to focus on competing vigorously for business and for customers,” a Microsoft representative also added.
The agreement between the two companies comes only a few days after the European Union issued formal antitrust charges against Google for violating competition rules with Android and offering some of its services as defaults on the mobile operating system. This case is similar to Microsoft’s famous browser ballot screen which got the software giant fined for not offering users in Europe alternatives to Internet Explorer when installing Windows 7 on their PCs.
Microsoft has been one of the prominent companies that complained to regulators about Google’s practices, but the software giant says that, in this case, the EU’s investigation was started when they were already discussing burying the hatchet.
Back in the days when Microsoft’s CEO was Steve Ballmer, the company had a completely different attitude regarding Google and even launched a campaign called Scroogled that was supposed to uncover some of the unfair practices used by the search giant for serving more ads and monetizing its services.
But under Satya Nadella’s umbrella, the new Microsoft has adopted a more gentlemanly approach and is now ready to work with Google in a way that it hopes would be a big win for customers across the world.