Google & Microsoft agree to global ceasefire in regulatory battles

Posted:
in General Discussion
Two of Apple's chief rivals, Google and Microsoft, on Friday announced a mutual agreement to drop regulatory complaints against each other around the world, further promising to try and settle any disputes themselves before using governments as a weapon.




"Microsoft has agreed to withdraw its regulatory complaints against Google, reflecting our changing legal priorities," a Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement obtained by Re/code. Google made a similar comment, suggesting it would compete on the merit of its products.

Microsoft added that it isn't taking a position on the European Commission's antitrust charges against Google, which have accused it of hampering competition in some of its Android licensing terms. Microsoft was once a member of FairSearch and ICOMP, two groups that filed antitrust complaints against Google, but is now out of both organizations.

The switch in policies may be attributable to Google and Microsoft's latest leaders, Sundar Pichai and Satya Nadella, who appear to have adopted a more friendly stance than their predecessors. Microsoft in particular has adopted a multi-platform strategy, including developing more apps for iOS, Android, and Mac, not just Windows devices.

In September 2015 the two companies halted 20 patent lawsuits against each other in the U.S. and Germany, among them Motorola-related disputes.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Microsoft is probably happy to keep getting all those Android royalty cheques from all those OEMs. The ones that actually make them money, as opposed to "regulatory complaints".
    moreck
  • Reply 2 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,003member
    I'd guess that both have bigger fish to fry, and market issues that affect both of them to deal with. Duking it out with each other was no longer beneficial to either one. FWIW I don't think Apple has any interest now (if they ever did) in rocking the regulatory boat either. All three big US techs have some similar and even overlapping issues to deal with outside of their home base. What affects one is increasingly affecting the others. 
    edited April 2016 moreck
  • Reply 3 of 11
    Both companies are headed into decline. Microsoft still has office as a stable source of revenue, but Windows is headed toward irrelevance. Google's moonshot projects are all costing huge sums of cash and providing negative returns while Facebook continues to develop a much better and more robust advertising model. 

    If Apple can get their act together and provide unique content for iTunes while building out their own cloud services, they can potentially grow much more. Apple is now at the fore front of technology. Samsung and LG are leaders in certain aspects of building hardware, but Apple has access to them. 

    If Samsung and LG decided to collaborate, they could drop Android and develop Tizen into a better OS. Since those two make the best hardware, they could drive the adoption of an alternative mobile OS. 

    Neither MSFT nor Google are proficient in building hardware and both are going to find themselves out competed by those that do. It's already happening. 
    moreckcali
  • Reply 4 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,003member
    The perfect collaboration would be Google and Apple IMHO. Google appears strongest and has expertise in areas where Apple doesn't and vice-versa. If only regulators would let 'em. . .

    Of course that's a non-starter.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    MnMarkMnMark Posts: 22member
    At what point is that collision? I mean this half-joking, but making plans on how to divide the world up so neither party suffers is a little questionable. I guess each company can say we won't say anything about you, you don't say anything about me. But anything beyond that is a little odd if indeed the other company is actually causing harm to your company in some way.
    brakken
  • Reply 6 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,003member
    MnMark said:
    At what point is that collision? I mean this half-joking, but making plans on how to divide the world up so neither party suffers is a little questionable. I guess each company can say we won't say anything about you, you don't say anything about me. But anything beyond that is a little odd if indeed the other company is actually causing harm to your company in some way.
    IMO no more a case of collusion than it was when Apple and Google arrived at a similar spot a couple years ago, dropping all legal issues between the two of them. 
  • Reply 7 of 11
    brakkenbrakken Posts: 687member
    Migooglost?
    Glicroste?
    Gimloogost?
    Miglost?

    Any way you look at it, these companies are nasty. 
    And stupid. 
    They've had 16yrs to bring added value re Apple but just. Can't. Make.... it....,
  • Reply 8 of 11
    Both companies are headed into decline. Microsoft still has office as a stable source of revenue, but Windows is headed toward irrelevance. Google's moonshot projects are all costing huge sums of cash and providing negative returns while Facebook continues to develop a much better and more robust advertising model. 

    If Apple can get their act together and provide unique content for iTunes while building out their own cloud services, they can potentially grow much more. Apple is now at the fore front of technology. Samsung and LG are leaders in certain aspects of building hardware, but Apple has access to them. 

    If Samsung and LG decided to collaborate, they could drop Android and develop Tizen into a better OS. Since those two make the best hardware, they could drive the adoption of an alternative mobile OS. 

    Neither MSFT nor Google are proficient in building hardware and both are going to find themselves out competed by those that do. It's already happening. 
    Windows is headed towards irrelevance? When they have 90% of the total PC market? And Office is nowhere near their only stable source of revenue. Microsoft is the #1 enterprise software company and the #2 cloud company.

    Facebook's growth doesn't much affect Google as they do not directly compete against each other and most companies advertise on both. Advertisers have been able to spend on five broadcast networks and a slew of cable channels - who all do directly compete against each other - for decades yet "there can be only one" between Facebook and Google? That's rich. Especially when you consider that Google is a search engine. So if Google goes away, who takes over as the leading search engine? Yahoo, who has been failing for years and is up for sale, with Google among the prospective buyers? Or Bing, which has had 4 name changes in its 8 years of existence and has never turned a profit?

    And why would Samsung and LG collaborate? They have been bitter rivals for decades - long before Apple even existed - and in far more product lines than smartphones. Each one would rather the other be forced to exist the mobile business than work together. Also, Tizen could be the best OS in the world - and it actually is a good OS - but their problem will always be app support. Their first party apps and services are horrible and they would get absolutely no support from third party developers at all. If Microsoft couldn't entice developers to contribute to their app store, what makes you think that Samsung and LG could?

    Google and Microsoft aren't proficient at building hardware because they are software companies. So, are all software companies going to disappear before hardware companies, or just Google and Microsoft? Also, just 10 years ago everyone was saying that software was the present and future and hardware was yesterday. The iPhone changed all that - for Apple anyway as IBM, HP, Sony, GE, Sharp and a bunch of other electronics giants are struggling and some no longer even exist - but for all we know 10 years from now the software companies will be back on top. It isn't that hard to imagine how: cloud computing and ultra-broadband networks could make hardware almost meaningless. With 5G offering 10 gigabit/s speeds, it will be possible to run most applications - not just apps but large applications - on remote servers and the device - whether it's a Mac, iPad, iPhone, Apple Watch, VR or IoT - would just be for UI. But ultimately, all Microsoft, Google and the other software companies have to do is make good products on whatever hardware platforms exist. Microsoft has been doing that for 40 years and Google for nearly 20 and there is no reason to think that they are going to all of a sudden stop, just as people aren't going to all of a sudden no longer need application solutions on all that fantastic Apple hardware.
    gatorguybirko
  • Reply 9 of 11
    brakken said:

    Any way you look at it, these companies are nasty. 
    And stupid. 
    They've had 16yrs to bring added value re Apple but just. Can't. Make.... it....,
    Sure ... as if being the #1 software company in the world and the #1 Internet software company in the world doesn't add value. It even adds value to Apple products, as like 90% of Apple PC and mobile device users run Microsoft and Google software and services on them. But hey, feel free to keep fooling yourself about the competition. Except that they aren't really competition. Microsoft and Google are software companies. Their primary rivals are each other. Apple is a secondary rival for both, particularly as Microsoft has diminished the importance of PCs in favor of being a multi-platform cloud, enterprise and mobile company, again like Amazon and Google.
    singularity
  • Reply 10 of 11
    calicali Posts: 3,494member
    gatorguy said:
    The perfect collaboration would be Google and Apple IMHO. Google appears strongest and has expertise in areas where Apple doesn't and vice-versa. If only regulators would let 'em. . .

    Of course that's a non-starter.
    This happened already and Goog backstabbed Apple. That ship has sailed and now Good is sinking.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,003member
    Microsoft is probably happy to keep getting all those Android royalty cheques from all those OEMs. The ones that actually make them money, as opposed to "regulatory complaints".
    According to the latest financials from MS patent licensing income is down 26% as of this past quarter, perhaps under $2B (Est. $3B at it's height) in total now from OEM's selling Android devices.  An industry report opines that Microsoft will be looking East to fill the money void. 
Sign In or Register to comment.