Microsoft agrees to stop complaining to authorities about Google, but will it get anything in return?

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Re/code reports that Microsoft and Google have come to an accord, and have agreed to stop complaining to regulatory authorities about each other.

In a statement Microsoft said:

“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.”

Google similarly  affirming that it too will withdraw any regulatory complaints it has made, saying:

“Our companies compete vigorously, but we want to do so on the merits of our products, not in legal proceedings.

Google and Microsoft also agreed that they will try to work among themselves to settle any future issues before running to regulators.

The agreement only affects pending complaints, and not the new and ongoing cases in the  European Union regarding Android or an earlier EU inquiry with regard to search.

Microsoft has however said that it has  dropped its memberships in FairSearch and ICOMP, two groups supporting antitrust actions over Google’s search business. This is likely to have a significant impact on the funding and effectiveness of these organizations, even if Microsoft was not the only complainant.

The deal does not come with any product commitments and we do wonder what benefit Microsoft saw in this move.

Given Microsoft’s increasingly weak position in terms of operating systems and Google’s extremely dominant position in terms of mobile operating systems and search globally and especially in Europe, where it has 80-90% of both markets, it would seem Google has much more to gain from this move than Microsoft.

Hopefully there is more happening behind the scenes that it appears such as negotiations around Android apps on Windows 10 Mobile, else it would just be another case of Satya Nadella throwing in the towel.

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