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Microsoft critical of YouTube app block


MS Legal

Microsoft issued a statement which said that Google “still refuses to allow Windows Phone users to have the same access to YouTube that Android and Apple customers enjoy”, by refusing to allow the YouTube app for Windows Phone to access metadata needed to deliver an improved performance.

In a wide-ranging blog discussing competition issues, Dave Heiner, VP and deputy general counsel at Microsoft, said that “Microsoft has continued to engage with YouTube personnel over the past two years to remedy this problem for consumers”.

He continued: “As you might expect, it appears that YouTube itself would like all customers – on Windows Phone as on any other device – 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.”

Microsoft previously said that due to the limitations imposed by Google, its YouTube app “is basically just a browser displaying YouTube’s mobile web site, without the rich functionality offered on competing phones”.

In contrast, rival YouTube apps enable consumers to “search for video categories, find favorites, see ratings, and so forth in the rich user interfaces offered by those phones”.

The comments were published shortly before the Federal Trade Commission announced “landmark agreements” with Google, intended to address concern around the search giant’s dominance in certain areas of the market, and its patent licensing practices.

However, the issue raised by Microsoft was not among the topics probed by the watchdog.

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