Proxy War Heats Up Between Microsoft & Google
A routine complaint from Google of $335,000 of unpaid advertising bills has blown up. The small, Ohio-based internet site has fired back at Google with a 24-page antitrust lawsuit, accusing them of a litany of monopolistic abuses.
What’s more interesting is the opposing legal counsel – Charles “Rick” Rule, of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP (a large and well-known antitrust practice out of Washington D.C.). Mr. Rule was chief counsel on competition issues for rival Microsoft, and is also representing another Ohio internet company’s suit against Google.
The moves are puzzling to some, but to Google the message is clear: competitors are out to get them, their business practices, and will take any means necessary. Microsoft denies any involvement in the Ohio companies’ suits, only that now they share the same view.
“It’s no secret that we share many of these concerns,” said a Microsoft spokesman, Jack Evans. “It shouldn’t come as any surprise then that we frequently hear from parties who believe they’ve been harmed by Google, or that we would encourage anyone who appears to have a legitimate complaint to contact the appropriate authorities.”
Weak Or Creative? Apple Sues HTC
Apple has sued HTC, maker of the Android and Google Nexus One smart phones, saying HTC violated twenty of their patents, including power management functions and a method of unlocking a handset with a finger swipe on a touch screen.
Rather than just seeking licensing royalties for violated patents, Apple is trying to prevent the sale of the HTC phones in the U.S. to reduce competition. If Apple wins, the International Trade Commission (ITC) could ask U.S. Customs and Boarder Protection to stop shipment of those phones, which accounts for almost half of their smart phone sales.
While some see it as a weak and fearful move, Apple is “known for their creativity and needs to protect it.” HTC is currently reviewing the allegations and details of the case.
Some Extra Tidbits:
- U.S. cities are campaigning hard for Google’s broadband network, with some naming cities after Google, holding various rallies and events, and even creating Facebook pages for support.
- The option to “star” a search engine result is now available within Google, allowing a result to be marked as a favorite site which will show up at the top of future results.
- Analytics firm Omniture has partnered with Facebook, enabling marketers to buy and measure Facebook media through a search campaign management platform, as well as ad effectiveness reporting for pages and apps.
- New studies show that formatting your site’s registration as a Mad Lib has the potential to boost conversions 25-40%.
- Google has bought out online photo editor Picnik – add it to their growing list of recent acquisitions.
By Amanda Witucki
Paid Search Staff