Google accused of blocking YouTube on Windows Phone

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Microsoft reopens YouTube app spat as regulators ponder Google antitrust case

Microsoft claims Google is deliberately blocking its attempts to offer a YouTube app on Windows Phone, as investigations into the search firm's alleged anticompetitive practices near a conclusion.

Microsoft was a key mover in a campaign from rival companies worried by the increasing power of Google in the search and advertising arena, sparking investigations on both sides of the Atlantic into whether the company was abusing a dominant position.

Among the accusations aimed at Google was the idea it downgraded rivals' positions in search rankings and that it was moving into areas such as travel, where it could threaten existing players by promoting its own services.

With US regulators set to conclude their antitrust review in the coming days, Microsoft has beefed up the rhetoric, claiming Google is preventing it from offering a full YouTube app on Windows Phone.

We learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones

"Despite government scrutiny, Google continues to block Microsoft from offering its customers proper access to YouTube," said Dave Heiner, Microsoft deputy general counsel, in a blog post.

"YouTube apps on the Android and Apple platforms were two of the most downloaded mobile applications in 2012. Yet Google still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy."

The issue regarding a Windows Mobile app for YouTube formed part of Microsoft's original complaint to regulators back in 2010, but the company says it now believes there's a deliberate internal policy to thwart its efforts to provide a fully-fledged app for the video service.

"Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers," said Heiner.

"It appears that YouTube itself would like all customers to have a great YouTube experience, but just last month we learned from YouTube that senior executives at Google told them not to enable a first-class YouTube experience on Windows Phones."

Google was unavailable for comment at the time of publication.

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